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Using Insects to Teach Science Skills and Concepts GET THE BUGS OUT!!!

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Presentation on theme: "Using Insects to Teach Science Skills and Concepts GET THE BUGS OUT!!!"— Presentation transcript:

1 Using Insects to Teach Science Skills and Concepts GET THE BUGS OUT!!!

2 W HY INSECTS ?  Easily capture student attention and interest  Relevant to lives of students  Versatile-can be used to reinforce wide range of science concepts and skills  Budget-friendly (inexpensive or free!)

3 S CIENTIFIC M ETHOD AND E XPERIMENTAL D ESIGN  Mississippi 2010 Science Framework  Apply inquiry- based and problem-solving processes and skills to scientific investigations.

4 S CIENTIFIC M ETHOD AND E XPERIMENTAL D ESIGN  Making Observations  Forming Hypotheses  Identifying Variables (independent, dependent, controlled)  Experimental and Control Groups  Writing Clear Procedures  Collecting Data/Graphing Results  Forming Conclusions

5 F LOUR B EETLES  Tribolium castaneum (red flour beetle) and Tribolium confusum (confused flour beetle, black)  Very low maintenance  Cultures can be kept indefinitely in jars of flour  Need no water, produce water metabolically through cellular respiration

6 F LOUR B EETLE E XPERIMENTS  Long-term experiment on food preference of flour beetles from Univ. of KY Entomology /Entomology/ythfacts/re sourc/tcherpln/flbeetle. pdf /Entomology/ythfacts/re sourc/tcherpln/flbeetle. pdf  The Effect of Temperature on the Metamorphosis of Flour Beetles (complete metamorphosis, life cycle varies 7 to 12 weeks)

7 F LOUR B EETLE E XPERIMENTS  The Effect of Different Colors on Flour Beetle Attraction (are flour beetles color blind?)  Interspecific competition (when placed together with limited resources, does one species of flour beetle affect the survival of the other species)  Let students design their own experiments (experimental design template)

8 A NT L ION L ARVAE (D OODLEBUGS )  Order ant lion larvae from or collect your own in sandy areas  Observation: Have students place ants or flour beetles in the cone-shaped pit and watch what happens.

9 A NT L ION L ARVAE (D OODLEBUGS ) After observation, show students videos at den.com

10 A NT L ION L ARVAE (D OODLEBUGS )  Guided inquiry: What factors affect the size of ant lion pits?  Students form hypotheses and design experiments to test different factors such as type of substrate (sand, grits, flour, potting soil, sugar), depth of substrate, size of container, size of ant lion, etc.

11 A NT L ION L ARVAE (D OODLEBUGS )  Most groups hypothesize that the size of the pit is determined by the size of the ant lion or by the texture of the substance  Use guided inquiry to have at least one group test frequency of feeding  Answer: the size of the pit is determined by how hungry the ant lion is!

12 M ADAGASCAR H ISSING C OCKROACHES  Gromphadorhina portentosa, native of Madagascar  2-4 inches at maturity  Low maintenance specimen  Eggs fertilized in egg case (ootheca) which hatch inside female’s body (appear to be live birth)  Adults care for and protect young

13 M ADAGASCAR H ISSING C OCKROACH E XPERIMENTS  The Effect of Temperature on the Growth Rate of the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach  Nature vs. Nurture (cockroaches with similar DNA grow at different rates based on environment)  Extension: Is it possible to “catch-up” from stunted growth?

14 M ADAGASCAR H ISSING C OCKROACH E XPERIMENTS

15 M ADAGASCAR H ISSING C OCKROACH I NVESTIGATIONS  Incomplete metamorphosis  Mating Behavior  Sexual Dimorphism  Territorial Behavior  Food Preference  Other ideas in FOSS materials

16 O THER I NSECTS S UGGESTED F OR EXPERIMENTS  Painted Lady Butterflies or Mealworms (complete metamorphosis)  Milkweed Bugs (incomplete metamorphosis)

17 E XPERIMENTAL D ESIGN K ITS WARD’S Using Nasonia to Teach the Scientific Method Lab Activity  Nasonia vitripennis (jewel wasp) and Sarcophaga (flesh fly) pupae  Symbiotic relationship (parasitism) WARD’S Sci “Ant” ific Method Lab Activity  Harvester Ants  Design Experiments to Study the Behavior of Highly-Socialized Animals

18 T AXONOMY BIOLOGY I  MS 2010 Science Framework Competency 6. Demonstrate an understanding of principles that explain the diversity of life and biological evolution.  a. Draw conclusions about how organisms are classified into a hierarchy of groups and subgroups based on similarities that reflect their evolutionary relationships. BIOLOGY II  MS 2010 Science Framework Competency 5. Develop an understanding of organism classification.  a. Classify organisms according to traditional Linnaean classification characteristics (e.g., cell structure, biochemistry, anatomy, fossil record, methods of reproduction) and the cladistic approach

19 T AXONOMY  Insect collections can be done in spring or fall  Have students collect, pin and classify 30 adult insects from a minimum of 10 orders  Equipment, nets and reusable collection boxes available at

20 T AXONOMY  Insect collections are excellent practice using dichotomous keys for identification and classification  Learn the 10 major orders of insects to begin and look up the rest in identification guides  Great online dichotomous key to the Top 10 Insect Orders net/in_order.htm net/in_order.htm

21 BUG DAY!!!

22 F ORENSIC E NTOMOLOGY  WARD’S Critters on Cadavers: A Forensic Entomology Lab Activity  Students will first observe and record how various factors influence the development of an insect’s life cycle, then apply this information to a crime scene scenario in order to estimate the time of death, if the body was moved, possible suspect/victim interactions, and create a timeline for the sequence of appearance for each species found on the body.

23 M USE OF F IRE  UMMC Base Pair/SOAR/RBI and Princeton Satellite Learning Center Summer Research Institute for Teachers  Application deadline May 31, 2011  5 Modules using Red Imported Fire Ants  ds%20of%20Fun- Muse%20of%20Fire%20Project.pdf ds%20of%20Fun- Muse%20of%20Fire%20Project.pdf

24 M USE OF F IRE : M ODULE 1 Mounds of Fun: A Study of the Micro/Macro Ecology of Infested and Uninfested Fields

25 M USE OF F IRE M ODULES Module 2 Toxicology Explorer (crickets) Module 3 Health and Human Impact of Red Imported Fire Ants

26 M USE OF F IRE M ODULE 4  “Life Within the Flame…Using PCR to Determine the Presence of the Symbiotic Bacterium – Wolbachia in the Red Imported Fire Ant”

27 M USE OF F IRE M ODULE 5  Microarray Simulations Using Simulated Red Imported Fire Ant Venom

28 C ONTACT I NFORMATION  If you would like more information about any of activities in this presentation or the UMMC Summer Research Institute, feel free to contact me:  Denise Thibodeaux  Cathedral School, 701 MLK Street, Natchez MS (601)  Home (601)


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