gator science

active adventures in lower school science

It’s hard to catch a springtail! let the games begin

on May 7, 2013

5th Grade students will be spending the month of May creating an insect field guide on campus.  The science laurel project for the fifth graders this year will get the kids outside and classifying different insects into distinct orders.  All the insect orders have scientific names that come from Greek words that connect to the Greek theme for the month.   The field guide will contain at least 10 entries and 7 different orders of insects.    We will be visiting the tall grasses and stream in Ashbridge Park and the pond at Bryn Mawr College.   Our first insect entry was the springtail (order collembola) found in a pine cone on campus.  We also found some mites and beetles inside the pine cone.  One of the students found a pine cone outside and we let it sit over the weekend in a funnel.   Some macro-invertebrates fell through the screen and into an alcohol solution.  We were able to draw a sketch of the springtail and discovered how important they were in the food web all over.  Millions of springtails may exist on an acre of land on the campus.

Guess the most abundant Insect orders!

Coleoptera  ( sheath or hard wings in Greek) – beetles

Hymenoptera (membraneous wings in Greek) – bees, ants, and wasps

Diptera ( two wings in Greek) – true flies

Lepidoptera (scaly wings in Greek) – butterflies and moths

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