M Stories

M Stories: Justus Founds MIS’s 1st Annual Bat Night!


The first ever Bat Night will take place on Monday, August 28 at 6:30 pm. The night begins in the comfort of the Middle School Auditorium where you will learn more about the Eco Award-winning work Justus began in 4th grade and how MIS students can get involved with the preservation of MIS’s local endangered bat population or begin their own sustainability projects. As the sun sets, we will follow the bats to the homes Justus built over two years ago and investigate more!   

Justus’s earliest memories of bats are stereotypically fear-based, but after choosing to study bats for his 4th-grade unit of inquiry exhibition, “I realized that bats are really cool, and they help the environment, and they are pollinators”.  When Justus realized that the new FAB building construction would wipe out bat hunting grounds, he was inspired by an idea that would help to mitigate the impact on the bat ecosystem.  Knowing that the local bat population would need hibernation space, Justus researched the proper design for bat houses.  He created the houses in the MIS Makerspace.  He and his project mentor, Ms. Sarah Manwaring enlisted the help of local bat expert, Katharina Platzdasch.  Ms. Platzdasch scouted the MIS campus to identify optimal locations for the houses. Together, they installed the two bat houses on June 7th, 2022.   

On Bat Night, with sonar equipment provided by Ms. Platzdasch, “we’ll check if the bat houses are populated.  I want to share my spark with others and show them that a small project can become huge.  I think people can develop ideas even better than I can.  I would like people to find their own animal.  Yes, I would love for people to continue the bat project and build more bat houses.  We always need bat houses -- but also eco-houses, hedgehog houses, and bird houses are always needed.  We could think about a few other projects.” 

MIS’s sustainability goal is for the campus to be CO2-neutral by 2035. This goal is in reach thanks to sustainability projects such as Justus’s.  5 years in a row, MIS has received the Three-Star (highest) Eco-School designation.  This status depends on student-led projects and must be renewed annually.  A highlight of this school year will be the Solutional Summit for international schools which MIS will be hosting from May 23 - 25.  At Bat Night, MIS’s Eco Committee will share opportunities to learn more and get involved. 

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