The children run a yearlong conservation project over the reproduction and migration of the Monarch butterfly. In the fall, the students monitor the campus milkweed garden for eggs and larvae. Each egg and larva will be documented in a journal and then entered to MLMP online as part of a national registry. The caterpillars are raised in the classroom and then the adult butterflies are moved to a tent to be tagged. The tag is a six digit number that is registered to Monarch Project 6 in case the butterfly is found along its’ migration. Once the students collect data on each butterfly, including the tag number, it will be released. In addition, the children document any Monarch sightings in the Fort Worth area with a picture and our data team enters this information to Journey North to track the migration in Texas. The children also created presentations that answered questions about the Monarch and taught their peers in class.
The students compare the four stages of the complete metamorphosis to the incomplete which begins with a nymph. They experience the importance of citizen science work by submitting their data to Monarch Watch, Journey North, and MLMP. More detailed information on this project can be found on facebook – Monarch Project 6