Target or Affiliated Species or Habitat
The Monarch Lab is highly involved in education and outreach surrounding monarch butterflies and citizen science. The Monarchs in the Classroom program conducts various workshops for teachers, students and other groups, in both formal and informal educational settings. Monarchs in the Classroom outreach programs range from teaching educators how to utilize a tried-and-tested curriculum to engaging students in schoolyard gardening and learning in an outdoor setting. “In an on-going collaboration with several Minnesota teachers, Monarchs in the Classroom has developed a variety of materials to complement classroom study of monarchs.
The centerpiece of these materials is a comprehensive written curriculum that leads teachers and students through an inquiry-based study of monarch butterflies and schoolyard ecology explorations. [They] have lessons for K-2, 3-6, and Middle School teachers. In each curriculum, there is a strong interdisciplinary approach; the curriculum incorporates concepts and skills in science, math, reading, writing, art and social studies. Lessons are congruent with K-8 concept and process standards as outlined in the National Academy of Science’s National Science Education Standards (1996). Each guide has been indexed to the Content Standards from several states and the National Science Education Standards” (Monarch Lab 2015).
In partnership with other associations, the Monarch Lab and Monarchs in the Classroom programs are able to offer a variety of workshops that encourage educators to take students outside of the normal classroom setting by using schoolyard ecology and gardening concepts to inspire investigative thinking and environmental stewardship in students. One standout program that encourages the aforementioned concepts is the Driven to Discover: Citizen Science course. Driven to Discover immerses Minnesota classroom teachers in real research, carefully guiding them through various citizen science programs motivating educators to bring their experiences back to the classroom, with enough expertise to guide students through their own independent investigations (Monarch Lab 2015).