By Alondra L
On February 24th, the girls and I had lots of surprise guests coming in to class. We had the pleasure to meet Karen Jeffrey, developer of ForAll Badges, in addition to Lauren Levato, our amazing scientist for the day. We also had the luck to have our dearest Jennifer Schwarz from the botanic garden present.
Lauren Levato is a writer and artist that was going to teach us some of the many wonders of the Monarch butterfly. The girls knew a week before that they were going to learn about butterflies, but they did not expect to see any real ones.
Probably another scientist would have been afraid of letting the girls touch an actual butterfly, but that was not the case of Lauren. Besides letting the girls see the kinds of specimen through a glass box, she brought bugs outside of one: How awesome is that? At first the girls were a little scared of touching the butterfly, but once Lauren explained the were not alive the girls were more enthusiastic about touching it.
Lauren then proceeded to show the girls a video about the M0narch butterfly migration. After the girls saw the video Lauren asked some questions and to our surprise, the girls knew more than they had been taught. When Lauren asked what they had learned from the video Alice said, “Baby butterflies migrate to Mexico even though they have never been there.” Lesly had a question about the butterfly, she said, “What does the butterfly do to protect itself from bigger animals? ” Lauren then explained that their main defense mechanism was their color. Throughout the years the butterfly had become a bug of bright colors, which to their predators meant that it was not a tasty meal. Their curiosity did not stop there, however. The girls wondered how scientists were able to differentiate between a male butterfly and a female butterfly. Lauren told them to look closely to the different butterflies she had brought in. There were many answers given by the girls. Jade and Denise thought the colors were the ones that determined whether it was a girl or a boy. Then Alice said that the lines were the one difference, and she was close. Lauren pointed to something the girls hadn’t noticed. She told them that,” The male monarch butterfly had two darker spots in their hind wings which produced a perfume that attracted the female butterfly. ” She said, when a female butterfly likes it she goes, ” Oh I like your perfume, let me get close to you.”
Lauren also asked the girls if they knew where a butterfly spent its time before becoming one: Lesly said, “They hide inside their sleeping bags” . And that was true although in more specific terms, it is called a chrysalis. So a butterfly goes from eggs, to a caterpillar who then makes its own chrysalis to become a beautiful butterfly.
Lauren wanted the girls to become familiar with the butterfly’s shape. She had them look closely at a butterfly and draw it. Some of the girls were able to recognize the different structures on each of the butterflies.
Without doubt the girls had a lot of fun learning about butterflies and their interesting journey!