2018 Grants: PES

Bug Club at PineCrest Elementary School

Concept Statement: Bug Club is an engaging way to involve fourth-graders in the practice of science, as well as strengthening their connection to our school.

Concept Description: Last year, I started a Bug Club for 4th-graders. It quickly filled to capacity, even spilling over to a waiting list. With this project, I hope to increase our ability to serve interested students and add to our collection of tools and equipment to ensure we can continue offering Bug Club in the future. The impact I seek to achieve is to increase our students’ engagement with science by participating in citizen science arthropod counts, researching insects and arachnids, and communicating their findings/learning with the rest of the school. Our population is low-income (we are a schoolwide Title-1 school), and many of our students aren’t often exposed to science outside of school. Bug Club brings science to our students, and will (with hope) broaden their options for future studies and careers. It’s also just plain fun to interact with students who are not in my classroom and develop relationships with them around science. Students who participate in these type of clubs have a stronger connection to school and a deeper relationship with our staff; it is my hope that Bug Club adds to a positive educational experience that will keep our kids in school through high school graduation and beyond.

Project Goals and Objectives: Students will participate in citizen science and research projects centering around insects and arachnids. Objectives: Students will learn to use entomology tools. Students will capture, identify, and release insects and arachnids on school grounds. Students will record and share data. Students will listen to entomologists who are sharing their expertise (either via video or in-person). Students will research a specific insect/arachnid of their choosing and create a communication tool to share their work with the rest of the school. Students will visit Woodland Park Zoo or the Bug Museum to see non-native species. Specific steps: In the fall of 2018, I will request permission to re-form our Bug Club with the current batch of 4th-graders. Assuming permission is granted, I will recruit students to join by speaking in their classrooms and sending out applications. Once our roster is set, I will hold weekly (or twice-weekly) meetings for a 13-15 total sessions, with an additional field trip (if funding allows). I will make contact with entomologists who would be willing to speak with my students and/or find videos online. Should funding allow, I will plan/coordinate/facilitate a field trip to Insect World and the Pollinator Garden at the Woodland Park Zoo or to the Bug Museum.

Project Budget:

  1. Field guides (Amazon.com)- $105
  2. 20 plastic petri dishes (Carolina Biological Supply) – $7
  3. 4 loupes (Carolina) – $48
  4. 1 butterfly net (Carolina)- $19
  5. 4 pooters/aspirators (sciencelabsupplies.com) – $10
  6. Entrance fees for 30 to Woodland Park Zoo – $203
  7. Honorarium for Bug Museum – $50
  8. Transportation to Woodland Park Zoo – $300
  9. Transportation to Bug Museum – $250

2018 Funding: Requested $992. Partially funded at $686.

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