Backyard Bark Beetles
This citizen science project provides a rare opportunity for the public to participate in real-world scientific research. Participants help to advance our understanding of bark and ambrosia beetles, which will help us to protect forests and the species that depend on them. This project has been designed as an easy and fun activity to teach kids and adults about these amazing and important creatures.
Bugs In Our Backyard
Bugs In Our Backyard is an educational outreach and collaborative research program, providing project-based learning opportunities for K-12 students– or anyone! The core activity for BioB takes advantage of the bugs in your own backyard, schoolyard or neighborhood. Students can become citizen-scientists by surveying this diversity of insects and plants.
A major goal of the Caterpillars Count! project is to provide a structured way for students and other interested individuals to learn more about the caterpillars and other insects that play a crucial role in our ecosystem.
Damsels and Dragons
“Damsels and Dragons” describes the physical and behavioral characteristics of
dragonflies and damselflies. Eighty-six species of dragonflies occur throughout
Minnesota. Students also learn about a dragonfly’s life cycle as it metamorphoses
from egg to adult, and about a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
naturalist, Mark Carroll, who has done research on dragonflies.
*Supports Minnesota Odanata Survey Project
Driven to Discover
The “Driven to Discover: Enabling Authentic Inquiry through Citizen Science” program is designed around an inquiry-based curriculum for youth. The curriculum uses nationally known citizen science programs (eBird & The Monarch Larva Monitoring Project) as the basis for teaching youth how to engage in science the way scientists do.
Journey North engages citizen scientists in a global study of wildlife migration and seasonal change. K-12 students share their own field observations with classmates across North America. They track the coming of spring through the migration patterns of monarch butterflies, robins, hummingbirds, whooping cranes, gray whales, bald eagles— and other birds and mammals; the budding of plants; changing sunlight; and other natural events.
Ladybug biology, biodiversity, conservation, and sampling are addressed. Younger students contruct replicas of ladybug life stages out of recycled materials and learn about ladybug diversity playing “ladybug bingo”. Older children play food web and ladybug sampling games. The core of the Lost Ladybug Project, where we actually go outside to search, is the same for both age groups. The toolkits allow for two collecting trips to two habitats for comparison, and then submission of data on the Lost Ladybug website.
Milkweed Monitoring Project
Using milkweed plants to detect ozone air pollution, classrooms provide plant injury data to DNR’s air management biomonitoring unit. Students learn about air pollution and its effects on plants and animals, how to set up study plots and collect plant samples, and how to press and preserve plant samples.
Monarch Watch: In the Classroom
“Challenges to Students” are questions that we pose to students to get them started with their very own research. In the “Research Projects” section you’ll find ongoing collaborative projects that rely on student – scientist partnerships. Our ever-growing vocabulary page is your one-stop-shop to help you sort through all of those (sometimes tricky!) terms and concepts relating to Monarchs and science in general.
The Invasive Mosquito Project
This citizen science project provides students, teachers, and anyone interested the opportunity to collect real data and contribute to a national mosquito species distribution study. This project not only gives individuals an opportunity to explore and collect around their house, but also raises awareness of diseases that can be transmitted by mosquitoes, and how they can make an effort to protect themselves, communities, and pets from illness.