gator science

active adventures in lower school science

Final mealworm data collected by 2nd grade

on December 7, 2012

2nd grade students discussed what a population was.  Many students confused the word population with the famiar word “popular.”   We related population to the recent elections.  For example, California has a higher population than the state of Pennsylvania.   We talked about how we might find the population in a state looking at women, men, and children to get an accurate count.

In our class population of meal worms, we wanted to compare the larva, pupa, and adult beetles in each section and the entire class.

Students struggled with the meaning of the data.  Some students thought the mealworms grew better when the girl was more gentle and caring to the beetles.  Otherwise, they might have died or not grown due to stress.  We discussed how beetles lay hundreds of eggs and not all eggs survive to adulthood.

I modeled how to write a comment or observation in their notebook. Here are some of the ideas below from second grade students:

  • I think by next week all the mealworms will get to a new stage.
  • Not all larva will survive at the end.
  • I am surprised there are so few beetles
  • All  larva were born at different times.  This explains why some have not turned into beetles.
  • 19 adult beetles seems like a high number.
  • Why are there still so many larva after 1 month?
  • Some pupas dried out and died and never became beetles? Some mealworms may have died since they did not have enough food or water.

We collected the data below at the end of the six weeks of watching the mealworm life cycle

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