Nick Mees understands that the key to teaching is making learning fun and come to life. As a Life & Earth science teacher at Merrill middle school, he was awarded a Celebrate Education grant by the Oshkosh Area School District Education Foundation for Bedazzled by Butterflies in the Classroom, a program that used painted lady butterflies to actively demonstrate their life cycle.
Students grew the butterflies from the larvae stage to adulthood and ended the program with a school wide release of the butterflies. Collapsible cylindrical netting that housed the butterflies was distributed around school and students created informational brochures for visitors.
“The most important thing I learned from the Bedazzled by Butterflies grant was the joy that watching these butterflies grow and learning about them can bring,” says former student Anna Hobbins.
“From the classrooms where we delved into the life cycle, diet and habitat of the Painted Lady Butterflies, to the hallways where we set up nets of them along with informative brochures, Merrill was overflowing with excitement.”
Taylor Rammer, another former student, recalls the amazing opportunity of experiencing the habitat of the butterflies up close.
“It was a fun, hands-on unit that made me excited to learn. We got to learn about what they ate and set up food containers for them and watch them grow and mature. It was a completely amazing unit.”
Celebrate Education is an annual event hosted by the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation in partnership with the Mid-Morning Kiwanis Club of Oshkosh, Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce, Wisconsin Public Service Foundation, Oshkosh Area School District and the UWO College of Education and Human Services. This year’s Celebrate Education will be at the Oshkosh Convention Center on March 20, 2017 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Register online at oshkoshareacf.org or call 920-426-3993 by March 17.
To learn more about Celebrate Education and the grants that have been awarded in the past, visit our Celebrate Education page.