Mifflin Park Elementary School innovation class creates buzz


A few hundred busy bodies call the roof at Mifflin Park Elementary School in Cumru Township home. They are small, but they make quite a bit of noise.

"I think the biggest thing with bees and children is that children have been taught that they are bad, that they are going to sting you, they are going to hurt you," said Mark Engle, an innovation teacher.

Teacher and beekeeper Engle said he wants to break that myth.

"Honeybees don't actually run around stinging children," Engle said. "Most of the time, if they are being stung, it's probably by a wasp or a hornet or yellow jacket."

Three years ago, the district started renovating the roof. It's a green house At times, it's a butterfly enclosure, a place to bird watch and a place for honeybees. This is the first batch.

"It's a labor of love," Engle said. "I was in the classroom for 25 years and being in this innovative classroom and being able to go to school every day and do something like this is a dream come true."

Engle, who has been teaching for 25 years, said outdoor learning like this gives kids an unforgettable experience.

"We have already seen in three years the kindergartners coming up through the basically, the changes they are making," he said.

Once the bees make it through the winter, the kids will help harvest honey.