ÿþSurvey Comments

A big THANK YOU goes out to everyone that took the time to complete this survey. Out of 436 participants 251 (60%) completed the survey and 176 of those included comments - that's pretty good! Take a minute to browse through the survey summary and the comments below to see how participants responded to our Monarchs in Space project. Thank you again for all of the great feedback! grin

Please provide any additional comments you would like to share about your Monarchs in Space experience.
#Response DateResponse Text
1Dec 18, 2009 9:45 PMWe had raised monarchs from eggs to butterflies in the early fall, which is why I didn't need to focus on the life cycle and information about the monarch. I thought this would be a nice extension of what we had already done, however, all our caterpillars died and I am not sure why. They were developing nicely and then one by one they died. I went to the forum to see if anyone else was having that problem, but didn't see any postings that were similar. Also, our caterpillars were far behind the ones in space, so it was difficult to make connections.
2Dec 18, 2009 9:46 PMWe split our kit with the local elementary school. I will send the elementary school teacher the link so she can answer the survey, too. I am a high school administrator so I do not have a classroom and just ordered the kit because it seemed to interesting and because in the summer I participate in the U of Minnesota larvae monitoring project. I kept the habitat in the science labs and students and teachers became interested, which I was hoping would happen. Our science teacher set up a video camera that took videos at intervals just like on the space station. Problems I ran into: 1) It was not clear from the materials how much diet to put in the habitat at one time. I put it all in at one time and it did become quite dry before the caterpillars pupated but I added a little water to it and that seemed to work. 2) The instars I received were really tiny -- they had to be second instars -- and so they were significantly behind the space monarchs. 3) One instar died after I transferred it to the habitat from the cup. I think perhaps I tried to move it when it was molting. 4) I was not able to control the temperature in the science labs so the temperature remained under 70. 5) I now have two adult monarchs, and although we've increased the temperature in the room and given them some bright heat lamps, they don't seem to be flying normally. They are just fluttering around without truly flying. They eventually flutter down to the bottom of the cage and have to climb back up. (They are in a roomy mesh caged designed for butterflies.) No idea why this is the case. 6) I am feeding them Gatorade, but they rarely seem to "get it" and don't feed on cotton balls, or sponges, or kitchen scrubbies soaked with Gatorade. Mostly I have to pull their proboscises out with a pin and get them going with it, and hold them with their proboscis in the Gatorade. I have no idea if I am feeding them enough or not. It would be nice to have more direction in this regard. This was a fascinating project. One of our science teachers is now excited about developing a unit based on monarch development. Thanks so much for running this.
3Dec 18, 2009 9:48 PM

we shared this expereince wiht the entire school via a live webcam on our monarchs in our science lab and did a short up date wiht a challange question on the news each morning for every studetn to participate in. This was a fabulous experience students loved it.

MW: Wow, what a great way to maximize participation!

4Dec 18, 2009 9:54 PMthe children were fascinated by the the butterflies. it kept them interested.
5Dec 18, 2009 9:58 PM

Our network blocked all U-tube links and most of the links to media coverage. Since most of my students do not have computers with internet access, we were not able to follow the Monarchs in Space in real time, so it was not very effective.

MW: We knew that YouTube would be blocked by many schools, so we offered the video content elsewhere (via the Photo & Video Galleries). It is difficult for us to know what access is allowed in all classrooms but we will continue to do our best to make all resources readily available. We welcome your input to this end!

6Dec 18, 2009 9:59 PM

I think this was an excellent extension to our fall rearing of monarchs. Our entire school, over 900 7 and 8th grade students were exposed to the monarchs. It was a great way to return to what we had learned previously and see how what we had learned was being used in a real-life situation. In the past we have tried to purchase caterpillars for every 4 or 5 students in the school to raise and record data for. Some teachers struggle with the amount of time it takes to find milkweed for 100 caterpillars. The artificial diet would be a great help for those teachers. I personally like to use the real thing and think it might be an interesting experiment next fall to raise some on milkweed and some on artificial diet in our classroom and record the difference. Thank you for all of your efforts. This program is what I think science is really all about. I hope it helps the monarchs too!

MW: Wow , over 900 students - this really makes me curious to know just how many people across the U.S. were involved in our "little" Monarchs in Space project! :-)

7Dec 18, 2009 9:59 PMRe:#30 - we had already done a full monarch unit in the fall...each student raises a monarch from egg to adult. We usually get our monarchs from the University of Minnesota's Monarch Lab, but we have used Monarch Watch as well. This was seen as an additional experience that we could add-on to our unit in the fall. Each night the temperature of the school dropped to near 60 degrees...it slowed down the life cycle considerably, but we couldn't control it. For the last three nights the students have watched each of our monarchs die b/c of the colder temps...so sad! Now we're heading off to winter break and there's no chance for the rest to survive. I think we would have done more with the butterflies if this experience had come during the fall when we were already investigating the life cycle of a monarch - it would have been a nice collaboration of the two... I also think this was so rushed - we were a little late coming on board and didn't really have a good plan for executing all the experiments, etc. We thought the videos were the most interesting to compare our monarchs to...the updates on the website were great, wish there had been even more...the forum was really helpful to see if others had similar questions/problems, but I noticed that many of the posts were left unanswered... We looked at the website almost daily, we created our own website and had a lot of fun with the program...based on the questions that the second graders had before we got the monarchs and then following up with them - I think they learned quite a bit.
8Dec 18, 2009 10:09 PM We had participated in the Monarch Watch tagging program, so many of our students already had a high interest in butterflies, and were very excited about rearing them in the classroom. They were facinated as they watched their developement, and I observed a renewed interest in Monarchs, as several students selected library books about butterflies and choose butterflies as a research topic. I liked the opportunities this project gave students to really observe both the caterpillars and the butterflies. Our "oldest" butterfly is 1 week old as of today (12-18), and the other 4 have emerged. Just before Thanksgiving, we ran out of food, so I took all 5 caterpillars to Florida with me over Thanksgiving break to get milkweed. After a few more days with a fresh diet, they finally pupated. A bonus -- just this week we discoverd that our florida milkweed (now back in my NC classroom) came with a stowaway! Yesterday I noticed what looks to be a third instar caterpillar! When we received the kit, I shared the caterpillars with a coworker, and we've built nice butterfly cages with the hope to contiue rearing these flying beauties! Thank you for this wonderful learning experience, and I hope you decide to continue this program.
9Dec 18, 2009 10:11 PMThis was a great opportunity for our Elementary Aged after School Garden Club with students aged second through fifth grade. With our climate in Wisconsin, it is difficulty to see the pupa stage unless they have access to someone, like myself, who rears caterpillars at home during the summer. This gave an entire elementary school (>350 children) the opportunity to observe the monarch life cycle. The garden club students were able to do experiments and handle the extra 3 caterpillars. We now (12/18/09), still have four living butterflies (aged 1 week) and one in the pupa stage. One of our pupa's was eaten by a caterpillar! I have never seen this in six years of rearing monarchs! The caterpillars were more aggressive than any other I've observed in those six years. I did not like the artificial diet and would only use it to raise the monarchs in the colder months for another school project. The milkweed is readily available in my yard and is easier to keep fresh. Luckily, the school librarian and principal were fully supportive of this project and helped promote the observation. It definately augmented my lesson plans for the monarch life cycle unit that I teach. I don't think this group of students will likely forget this experience soon! I also was able to get some great photos and video of the caterpillar making the chyrsalis and emerging from the same. We were able to "catch" these usually rapid and fleeting moments without a problem! I will be using my video in the future to "show" what happens when we can have a direct observation. I would have liked to have some advance notice (I know it wasn't possible this time), of the experiments. I would have done a blog for our students to follow. My only other suggestion is that the participant photos could have been updated more regularly. I submitted some photos yesterday 12/17, and right away knew that they probably wouldn't be posted because that part of the site had not been updated since 12/11/09. It's like once the ones in space died, there wasn't interest in what others were observing with their caterpillars here. All in all it was a great opportunity and experience! Thanks, Monarch Watch!
10Dec 18, 2009 10:18 PMWe've had interesting discussions as to why our monarchs have not followed the timetable for development, so this has been a learning experience for my students even though it hasn't turned out as they expected.
11Dec 18, 2009 10:30 PMOur butterflies didn't hatch yet, I hope they do we sure are behind!!!
12Dec 18, 2009 10:54 PMI wasn't initially ready to receive the larvae and had trouble making the chamber. I had all 6 in the same chamber, so I may have missed some instructions. I find instructions in a number order to be more easily interpreted. I have one butterfly and one ready to go, with another slowly getting ready. The problem with winter hatching is the weather and taking care of them in the classroom, but the overall experience was awesome, as my students were watchful of articles about the shuttle and space in general. Thanks for the opportunity to participate!
13Dec 18, 2009 11:11 PMI actually still have pupae (very late) that I am not sure will become butterflies since they are so late.
14Dec 18, 2009 11:43 PMYour website was wonderful, however our school system in South Carolina blocks videos from Youtube, Twitter, and Facebook, so it was difficult to get the space videos. I did get them at home, downloaded them on a usb drive and showed them to the students. We loved watching the astropillars. I enjoyed reading your day to day journal. WE got in the Monarchs in Space program after everyone else. Thank you for sending the caterpillars even though it was late. At this time 1 pupa has developed, 3 have expired and we are still watching 2 caterpillars. Of these 2 caterpillars remaining 1 was fed milkweed and 1 on artificial food. You sent us six caterpillars on Dec. 3rd. Our experiment included comparison of 2 groups. Capsule 1 was named the "Astropillars". Capsule 2 was named "The Homegirls" because they are raised on homegrown milkweed. We had 2 capsules. 1 capsule was fed your artificial food and 1 was fed milkweed from my garden. (In south Carolina a native species of asclepias was still thriving:) My students took observational data each day. 3rd, 4th. and 5th. graders from a Gifted Class(above abilities) were involved. The students were absolutely engaged with the connection to NASA. Yesterday, one student brought the entire experiment home for the winter holidays and will continue to observe and care for the caterpillars, pupa and hopefully a live adult to be born around Christmas Day. He will give us the report when we return in January. We will continue an exploration of the ISS and space in January. The students here know so little about current Space exploration and I am fortunate to be a GATAS teacher/Gifted & Talented teacher that embraces student research. If you do this again, please count us in right away from Greenwood, South Carolina. One note, our students were sad that the Monarchs in Space could not find the nectar source. We brainstormed and discussed that you would be working on that. They were ealso bothered by the "frass" in the space capsule. I had to explain to them that the capsule could no be entered on the ISS. Thanks again for this wonderful experiment! We were thrilled to be involved.
15Dec 18, 2009 11:50 PMOf the 6 caterpillars, 3 died almost immediately after receiving them, and two about a week later. We only had one survive, and when it emerged from it's crysalis it was deformed. Very disappointing for the kids to see them all perish.
16Dec 19, 2009 12:11 AMI was disappointed that these caterpillars appeared to be "dumb." They did not hang themselves very well (2 of the 3 that went into the crysalis were problems, one fell almost immediately upon forming the crysalis and of course splattered and the other needed to be tied up). They didn't seem to be able to molt the last time without difficulty, either before forming the crysalis or as they werre doing so. I do not know if the artificial diet had anything to do with that or the fact that they were not "wild" caterpillars with natural instincts. I raised over 100 wild caterpillars this summer and did not have that problem at all. Both of the caterpillars that I had emerge from crysalis had deformed wings also, they were not able to hang on to the container to dry them out properly. One I rescued and was able to have the wings almost okay and the other has a fairly severe deformity. The container I used was one that I used over the summer when raising wild butterflies and I only had one or two that needed recued at that time out of dozens. Again, I do not know if this was due to the diet or the fact that they lacked some natural instincts. I am also concerned that we are raising these caterpillars at a time of year when we know that they cannot survive to reproduce. I guess that just bothers me knowing they will spend their short lives in a cage and die without a chance at reproduction and continuing the species. Several of my students however were very interested in this project and we have engaged in a great amount of conversation relating to Monarchs. Our caterpillars were way behind those in the space craft, many were still eating when the first of the space butterflies emerged. This is probably due to the fact of the very cool school classroom in the evenings after the heat is turned down.
17Dec 19, 2009 1:07 AMEven though our experiment did not result in adult monarchs, we thoroughly enjoyed the connection between NASA and our classroom! We were even lucky enough to visit NASA in Houston, TX during Thanksgiving break and talked to some staff about the Monarchs in Space! That was a great connection for our kids.
18Dec 19, 2009 1:09 AMI had to leave my classroom for an emergency surgery My sub had no ideea what was was going onl A studnt teacher from another class did try to keep up with the project, but ran out of food. Two caterpillars began to eat on eof the weaker ones, We discussed "Survival of the Fittest" We needed at least one more container.
19Dec 19, 2009 1:18 AM

I found using hot glue to attach the sandpaper did not work. I ended up re-gluing and then using box tape to get the sandpaper to stick. Part of the issue was the top of the plastic container (received at local grocery store) was not completely smooth at the top. It had some grooves. Thanks for a great project! Using the Space Science connection was a great way to meet dual standards.

MW: That's a good point - we'll make sure to address this in future instructions.

20Dec 19, 2009 2:11 AMI did have 2 kits, so more larva to work with initially that when 2 died right away I could keep going, so more was a definite plus to carry on. 3 larva never did take to the artificial food, lucky I collect milkweed in summer, freeze it, and they adapted to eating that, so the younger age was good that they could switch feed still. I lost 2 chrysalis, one from space set up, one from my own, also had 2 larva on the provided diet that went to chrysalis to small, and only formed a shell on half the hanging J body. That was unusual to see, since I have raised many and seen the process many times. So that leaves six that made it to adulthood, butterflies. One female (on artificial diet) had no antennae, looked real good to find them if lost in emergerence, don't think so, she died in a couple of days then, even though I kept leading her to the juice. One male only one leg up front, also on artificial diet, but doing well. The other 3 all males I have were from my frozen milkweed, all seem very strong. They are now in a castle with tropical milkweed plants, hope to get some eggs and continue. Last year I was able to carry monarchs thoughout the entire winter repeating cycles. (obtained from a college at Christmas break) I have flowers to supplement the juice, and still do a 12-14 hour light on cycle. This was amazing, and shared it with our college my son attends as a biology major. We present programs all over educating kids, and adults in the summer on milkweed and monarchs. Truly appreciate the time and overtime it took on your parts. Thank you.
21Dec 19, 2009 2:44 AMMy second grade students and I loved particpating in this project. My class had already raised Monarch butterflies from the egg to adult stage last September. I find the eggs on milkweed and so all of our caterpillars were raised on milkweed. My students already had background knowledge of Monarchs and so this Monarchs in Space project was a great extension and follow up to what they had learned previously. The whole class loved looking at the website every day to see how the space caterpillars were progressing. We spent a lot of time comparing our classroom caterpillars with those in space. Students also learned about the Space Shuttle and the ISS which was so interesting for them. They loved looking at the tracking site to watch the Shuttle catch up with the ISS and proceed to dock. Then they loved just watching the ISS on the tracking site and seeing how fast it traveled around the earth. Our class kept a Monarch Butterflies In Space Journal and made many predictions as we went along every day. Our journals also recorded many observations made by the students. At the end we made a mural showing the sequence of events. Students were able to compare our butterflies raised in the hot fall (when all of our 30 grew to emerge a butterfly) to our butterflies raised in the cool winter classroom, when only one emerged and it could not get its wings opened. Students concluded that travel over our long Thanksgiving break and cool temperatures hindered the metamorphosis. It was an A+ project and we were happy to participate. Even the Toledo Blade put our pictures in the paper and wrote a very nice article about Monarch Watch.
22Dec 19, 2009 3:12 AMI've raised monarchs in my classroom using milkweed. I had no problem cleaning the frass away from the food. With the diet food, the frass couldn't be cleaned away and I think that that created an unhealthy environment in the chamber. While we were waiting for the butterflies to emerge from the chrysalis, the frass and the left over food started to grow moldy.
23Dec 19, 2009 3:23 AMFour of the six are still alive. They have been alive for about 10 days. This was very cool. I loved doing it. My class was the only one doing the whole thing, but I put them out in the hall and our whole school watched on. I sent information to our teachers so they could keep up. With our new curriculum we don't have much time to deviate. We did the 12 hour light on and 12 hours off. All six emerged. One was deformed probably because they ran out of food that last weekend. Its chrysalis was smaller. I was surprised that it emerged. It lived for 2 days. I want to keep them alive for as long as possible. I did have trouble with them eating. They wouldn't eat from the little cup with the hole in it. I am just so sad that so many monarchs are not getting to live because it is so cold for them to head to Mexico. I would love to be able to house them over the winter. The mascot for my first grade class is monarchs. I wish this project had been a little earlier in the fall and all these monarchs would be able to get to Mexico and it would be great if 6 tags could be included in the kit so they could be tracked. On Nov. 6th we released 15 monarchs for their journey to Mexico. I got the caterpillars off the milkweed in our school garden. The students got to watch this happen before the Monarchs in Space Project. They were all the same size and all emerged within 3 days. It was great. We got to tag 11 of them and the mass release was exciting. We are all hoping to get word that some of our monarchs have been sited. Thanks for letting me ramble. I thought this was a wonderful project and I'm so glad that we were able to participate. I don't do facebook or twitter and our school blocks YouTube. The answer to did you have trouble raising the adults. The answer should be some.
24Dec 19, 2009 3:30 AMMy students created a log of daily changes. I have raised over 15 monarchs each of the last three years, but this was a GREAT experience connecting them to space and to an actual experiment. It really helped the students work on questioning and data collection! My only dissatisfaction was with using YouTube. Our district blocks these types of site, and I could not access them. Teachertube is an approved site, and perhaps future experimentation can be connected via Teachertube rather than Youtube. The journal logs were great! The kids really enjoyed checking in each day to see what was happening!
25Dec 19, 2009 4:19 AMEven though our caterpillars didn't pupate (not sure why) the kids (and teachers) had a blast and learned so much! We went online daily and loved the up to the minute information!
26Dec 19, 2009 4:52 AMThis was a truly amazing experience. The feedback from students, parents, school administrators--the press was phenominal. Kids have become so interested in space exploration and they are so intrigued by the butterflies. We are still waiting for 2 to emerge--the 2 that we have emerged 12/14. Some comments: the Monarch Space Guide was full of a lot of information--but was not very user friendly. The references to the painted ladies was confusing--and I was unclear about how to set things up at first. Maybe creating a simple and clear reference for teachers would be helpful. Also the rearing chamber became moldy over time--may have killed the 2 caterpillars. There was no air circulation in the chamber--this may have caused the mold. They took much longer to grow in our class--as I mentioned we still are waiting for 2 to emerge. Overall--this was an experience that we will never forget. Thank you so much for putting together this authentic learning experience. This fits in perfectly with our second grade curriculum--life cycle of a butterfly and solar system. I would be happy to participate in any other opportunities that you may offer!!
27Dec 19, 2009 5:54 AMI teach 135 students every day at the middle school level and it was awesome to see how engaged they became with this experiment. They checked on the rearing chambers daily to observe the progress. We compared our chambers with those in space multiple times per week. It was interesting the questions and discussion that arose due to this experiment. We study the importance of a control group when conducting an experiment and this was the perfect example for my students. We have grown very attached to our butterflies and it is difficult to know what to do with them now. I am passionate about the space program and what NASA stands for, so this was yet another avenue to spread this excitement to my students. Thank you so much for this amazing opportunity. I am sad that it is finished!
28Dec 19, 2009 11:31 AMThis activity tied in nicely with our non-fiction book study, the students researched butterflies and created their own non-fiction books. Unfortunately all our caterpillars died, the classroom may have been too cold over the weekends. Creating our own rearing habitat was difficult, the caterpillars kept getting out. When I have raised butterflies before they came in a container with food and then were moved to a butterfly enclosure when they became pupas. That is an easier way to do this activity. The kids loved the idea of looking at the pictures and videos of the butterflies online. Our school system doesn't allow access to Facebook or Twitter, so I am glad that updates were posted on Monarch Watch.
29Dec 19, 2009 12:20 PMLoved the whole project. We still have our butterflies and the kids were so excited about the whole project. I taught the Scientific Process as we predicted how we thought the larva in space with mico gravity would develop. Every day we kept a log and made observations on our larvae, checking temperature and any changes we noted with their development. It was very exciting to actually witness the butterflies emerging from their chrysalis.
30Dec 19, 2009 1:08 PMWhat a wonderful opportunity for my students! We have been rearing caterpillars successfully with monarch watch for 8 years so this was an opportunity to expand my students knowledge (a multiage classroom with lots of monarch knowledge and experience!). We were disappointed with our results but we still learned so much and the students were so engaged and excited! Thank you for allowing us to be a part of it!
31Dec 19, 2009 1:40 PMThis project helped expand my students science awareness.
32Dec 19, 2009 2:49 PMBelieve it or not........I still have one caterpillar alive and need more food!!!!! I started raising at school but kept them at home when I left them forThanksgiving. They started dying after that; I could not get them to eat. Maybe got too cold. It hurt my heart because I raise many of them every year from an egg and hardly have any die! I told them I gave some back to the scientists to raise. Anyway, my class had already seen this life cycle, so they still related well to all of the space stuff. We learned lots as we watched all of the web links! Every day they relate to it by drawing, writing, building, pretending, recalling, etc. ON THEIR OWN! THANKS!
33Dec 19, 2009 3:46 PM

Some website were blocked at our school. The videos and pictures were downloaded at the public library and then brought to school. This was sometimes an inconvenience.

MW: I wish we knew what criteria were used by all school network administrators to decide what sites classrooms can access…we knew that YouTube would likely be blocked, which is why we made an effort to provide an acceptable alternative.

34Dec 19, 2009 3:47 PMOur catepillars did not like the space diet. We searched and found a little milkweed remaining in the garden, but basically, our catepillars were starving.
35Dec 19, 2009 4:17 PMI have raised monarch caterpillars for about 15 years using milkweed leaves that I have collected. They are extremely easy to raise. The kit you sent did not have even CLOSE to the amount of food I needed to raise my six caterpillars! Not only did it dry up but there just was not even close to enough of it. I ended up looking for alternatives on the internet and found a suggestion of using pumpkin. This did work somewhat. They did eat the pumpkin but not well. Four of my caterpillars died outright. I have one puny adult right now and I still have one pretty large caterpillar that is eating pumpkin and still slowing dying I guess. I have never had this much trouble raising any of them. I thought the adults on the space station were much bigger than the ones I got but now I think mine just were not growing at a very good rate or very little due to the running out of food and/or not liking the pumpkin that much. I would never try to raise them again in the winter, only during times when I can collect real and plentiful food for them. Teachers who do not know any better need to know it is easier to do it then and just collect your own. My students REALLY enjoyed the updates of pictures of what was going on and our predictions of what we would get. Since I cover Monarch biology in the Fall this just added to it. But the raising of the butterflies concurrently this time of year was a real bust for me as an experienced person raising them.
36Dec 19, 2009 6:17 PMmy artifical food seemed to tangle up the caterpillars , they wanted to spin silk too early - but 3 went to pupa,1 pupa dropped, two emerged, one really tiny lived two days, still have one at home now eating gatorade fruit juice from cotton ball and cut up "kotex pad" - she has lived so far 2 weeks - now home for christmas
37Dec 19, 2009 6:38 PM

We had difficulty accessing the website due to filters set by our school corporation. It took some time to go through protocols to get those blocks lifted. I really appreciate this opportunity to participate in this project. The kids were very excited. We have studied, raised and observed monarchs for several years, and this study added a new dimension to our research. Our butterflies have still not eclosed. We finally left the light on 24/7 in an attempt to increase the growth cycle. To save money, our school turns the heat way down on weekends and vacation, thus, the temperatures in the room were going down to 66 degrees. We never could get the humidity levels high enough. Unfortunately, the butterflies will eclose while we are on Winter Break. The students were also upset because we could not release the butterflies to make the journey to Mexico as we normally do when we raise monarchs. I realize that research helps the butterflies in the long run, but it would have been helpful to have more specifics on how this research could have helped the monarch. Having to rear the butterflies, just to watch them die later, is going to be difficult for my students.

MW: I wonder what caused the Monarch Watch site to be blocked...

38Dec 19, 2009 6:43 PMNot having raised monarchs before, I needed more explicit instructions. Instructions online were extremely confusing, especially when it came to assembling the container for the caterpillars. I feel as though the containers I used had an effect on the odds or survival due to the type of plastic used.
39Dec 19, 2009 8:59 PMThis was a fabulous way to connect our biology unit (Insects) with our space unit (Sky Watchers)!!!
40Dec 19, 2009 9:47 PMWe created the habitats and set up and maintained them as "instructed." However, our caterpillars did not reach the pupa stage and we are not sure why. It was terribly disappointing to have the experiment fail to achieve any conclusion. It would be good to be able to participate in another study and have more definitive instructions so the experiment might reach fruition, as we are not sure what went wrong with ours. Thank you for the opportunity.
41Dec 19, 2009 10:37 PMAs of friday 12/18, my pupas had not hatched to adults. One looked like it was having a color change. I hope to have them hatch this weekend, or next week. Would be interested to make my own "Diet" how and what? Loved the project. Made my own habitat similar to ISS one. Previously sent a picture. at school no access to youtube, facebook etc. These are all blocked. I think this is common in most schools... Carry on!!
42Dec 20, 2009 12:20 AMI fed our caterpillars tropical milkweed leaves from my garden and they preferred the leaves over the prepared media. My high schoolers loved watching the cats mature and pupate and emerge. Thanks for the opportunity!
43Dec 20, 2009 12:46 AMI purchased 2 Monarchs In Space rearing kits for my grandkids' school in Dallas, TX, The Westwood School. One kit was in the Lower Elementary with 9 year old grandson and the other in the Upper Elementary with 11 year old granddaughter. Both teachers were enthusiastic and followed the protocol. I got a number of emails from my grandson's teacher and sent both teachers updates from Monarch In Space Web site. I think that both teachers thought that it was an excellent project. My grandkids really enjoyed it, particularly my grandson. More specific answers on the questionnaire will need to come from the teachers involved.
44Dec 20, 2009 12:49 AMOur monarchs were 1 mm when they arrived. It was hard to compare what we had to the space station. It was hard to maintain the temperature at school over the weekend. Within 2 weeks all of the Monarchs had died.
45Dec 20, 2009 2:10 PMI wish we would have ended with at least 1 adult Monarch. The students were very disappointed.
46Dec 20, 2009 2:18 PMWe released our butterflies at an enclosed butterfly garden nearby. We would have liked more instructions on how to take care of the butterflies once they became adults. We were worried they would die in the cold weather if they were released into the wild. We do not know how long they are going to live so I just guessed on that answer since we took them to the butterfly garden. Also, youtube, facebook, and twitter are blocked through our school system web access so those were not helpful updates to us. Thank you for the experience.
47Dec 20, 2009 3:23 PMWe had problems with food holders falling down and three of our pupa fell off the sandpaper we glued to the top of the chamber. As of 12/18 we still had two pupa and one caterpillar and no adults. In the past I've had very few caterpillars that did not make it to the adult stage and using these homemade chambers we've had many caterpillars not survive.
48Dec 20, 2009 5:44 PMFour grade levels participated. My 7th gr. used a 10 gal. aquarium stand BASE. They wrapped window screening around it, put cardboard on the base and a xerox paperbox lid for the top. We kept the larvae in the salad container until they were close to changing. We then opened the salad contain to allow the monarchs to find a place in the new habitat. I am VERY glad we did this. They have room to flutter and move about as well as use the screening for traction. We placed a large twig in there, but they don't use it. They are feeding from the containers placed on the floor of the habitat. We still have the four successful adults. They are seven days old. School is now closed for Christmas. Hopefully, we'll still have them when we return. This was a wonderful opportunity to renew everyone with the space program. My students and their relatives went outside to view the shuttle and ISS for the time period available over the Annapolis, Maryland area. We watched the launch, but school was closed during the return. The person who thought of this is to be congratulated for thinking "out of the box!" We'll do this again in the Spring. By the way, I loved the name of the project.
49Dec 20, 2009 5:50 PMOur school has over 750 students K-5th. 1st grade primarily studies the cycle of butterflies, but we placed the caterpillars in a central location with a poster of all the information you gave us online. The kids would pass by the kits daily and watch their progress. The entire school watched the launch on their individual classroom monitors. It was amazing. The teachers would monitor the progress in space in their classrooms and the kids would compare ours in the school. The children acted like expectant parents. I took on set home because the location at school did receive more light from the hallway lights that stayed on all night. The caterpillars at school formed the crystalis first by a couple of days. The ones kept at home, with longer periods of darkness at night, emerged as butterflies first. Temperature at the school and home were about the same. We lost one butterfly shorty after it went into its crystalis stage because it did not attach well to the top and it fell. We had two butterflies fall right after emerging and then bending its wings. I picked them up and placed them on the top, but their wings never fully opened. I still have them at home and are feeding them. It is now Dec. 20th. We had a couple of warm days in Texas, so we released the other butterflies in our habitat. Even the one we performed the recommended experiments, lived, but was the smallest caterpillar and butterfly. This whole experience was truly amazing. The kids so enjoyed it and even though we raise and release butterflies every spring, we learned a whole lot more information. Thanks you so much for the experience. Now that we are on break, I hope to send you our pictures.
50Dec 20, 2009 6:52 PMThis was a fantastic project. It happened to correspond with our 3rd graders learning about the life cycle in general, and they were able to use the monarchs as specific examples of the life cycle. The kids were also fascinated by the details of how exactly a monarch caterpillar turns into a chrysalis. Your online information was VERY helpful in describing the process to the kids. The real-world experience was very educational, and the kids honestly remembered everything since they were seeing it right before their eyes. I appreciated the scientific glossary of terms. Once again, the kids remembered vocabulary they would have never remembered just from reading about it in a book. This project will probably be a highlight of their 3rd grade education. Thank you for the opportunity!
51Dec 20, 2009 7:50 PMAs of today, December 20, we still have three adult butterflies alive and well. We have one male and three females. Our school district does not allow us to use Facebook ir Twitter. Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this experiment. We would like to take part in other experiments with monarchs if they become available. It was a great experience for our team of 10 students and us as teachers. It was covered by our local newspaper on two different occassions and by a local TV station once.
52Dec 20, 2009 7:51 PM

Two of the butterflies had wings deformed enough that they couldn't fly. Two were unable to emerge. Having raised hundreds each year on milkweed and rarely having these results, I have to believe the chow just doesn't give them all they need,

MW: There are many variables that can affect success in rearing monarchs - we have raised thousands of monarchs on our artificial diet and maintain a high degree of success. Even though we are extremely happy with the diet in its current form we are still tweaking it and continue to improve it.

53Dec 20, 2009 8:22 PMOne of the problems my school encountered in the Monarchs in Space Expererience was that our school did not allow our class access to smugmug, because of filters. I did speak with the Technology Department and they could not allow us to use the site in school due to the possibility of looking up inappropriate material. To compensate I went online daily and dowloaded images and video. I could have done more, in my opinion, if I could have gone right to a "safe" sight to do our comparisons. I also had difficulty trying to get my class information and pictures on the Monarchs in Space web page. I followed the directions but our school never showed up. I was very disppointed in that problem. As for the entire experience - It was totally awesome! My students had a great time observing the monarchs and comparing them to those in the microgravity chamber on the Space Station. We had a long discussion about why we thought the adult butterflies on the ISS did not live as long as expected. Some of my student's thoughts were that because of the microgravity the monarchs experiences a form of muscular atrophy, thus hindering a longer life. Thank you for the opportunity! I know this was an experience my students willnever forget. I created a powerpoint presentation to give to each student to remember the project we worked on.
54Dec 20, 2009 10:55 PMI thoroughly enjoyed paricipating in this experiment. I grow parsley in my garden at home to provide a host plant for the black swallowtail and keep larvae in an aquarium. I provide them with parsley and watch them grow with my students in my classroom. We release them outside to let them fly free.
55Dec 20, 2009 11:02 PMThank you for the opportunity to have participated in this experience with the monarchs. It was interesting to me to see the larva reared on food other than natural milkweed. I felt a bit uncomfortable seeing the larva in such a small container as I usually give them more space, but I think that helped them find the food supply. Of the 6 butterflies that emerged, 1 was born with smaller than normal, somewhat crumpled wings, but he could fly -- the other 5 were normal. One had attached its chrysalis to the wall of the enclosure rather than the top, but emerged just fine. I ended up releasing them all on a warm sunny day rather than keep them enclosed, as their wings seemed to be getting brittle with bits coming off the tips and they seemed unhappy -- fluttering a lot when the sun shone. They all flew away after an hour or so. It was interesting to see them practice their flying before really departing.
56Dec 20, 2009 11:22 PMThere were 6 larvae to begin with - all formed chysalis, 4 emerged but one emerged with deformed wings and there is still one in the chrysalis. Perhaps the artificial diet is not as good as the fresh milkweed we provide larvae when we do this unit in the fall.
57Dec 20, 2009 11:51 PMIt was a wonderful experience for students and teachers! My principal really got involved, too; he had a lot of "space questions" based on information I had previously taught in my Monarch lessons. I was trained through the Monarch Teacher Network at EIRC (Sewell,N.J.), and have been doing mini-lessons every September for the last seven years. We also tag our butterflies, and I always purchase tagging kits through Monarch Watch. Thank you again for including me in your Monarchs in Space Program!
58Dec 21, 2009 1:04 AMMy students and I were very disappointed. We started off with 5 caterpillars, and one died one day after we received them. The caterpillars did not form chrysalis before the students left for the Thanksgiving holiday (like it was stated) and they were all dead when the students returned to school. It was a very expensive and disappointing project.
59Dec 21, 2009 1:40 AMI think it was a great, and interesting experience for the students. They were very interested in the experiment. Some of our butterflys didn't come out ok, that was upsetting to some of the students, and the fact we couldn't release them bc its cold outside was also a bit of a denoument.
60Dec 21, 2009 2:40 AMFor Question 4, I indicated some improvement would be good. I had a hard time finding information after having already read it. A table of contents with links to ceartain aspects would be nice. My Children loved this. We spent a lot of time every day checking on the Monarchs. We were able to watch three of them pupate, catching one on video. We were also able to catch each of them very shortly after emergence, 1 of them we caught on video emerging. He happened to be the same one we caught pupating. It was a good thing we found them just after emergence as 2 of them fell and 1 didn't have enough room for his wings were he was positioned. I answered N/A on how long they lived as we still have 5 of 6 living. Our first one emerged about the 9th or 10th of Dec. and died on the 19th. The rest are still doing well.
61Dec 21, 2009 5:38 AMThe excitement of waiting for and receiving the kit was strong and our experiments started out fantastic. Along the way we confronted obstacles that were out of our control and not fault of the monarchs in space program. Our temperature classroom was not able to stay at a constant temp because of furnace issues and we lost 3 of our caterpillars that would not eat, they hung in a "j" position and died. After rigging up a heating system our 3 remaining caterpillars seemed to be fine; however, they were unable to make it to the next instar stage. In spite of these problems, we were able to conduct some of our on experiments with using observation, inquiry and comparing to the space videos when we were able. (We had some computer difficulties and not always able to connect to the space site.) Our class was quite surprised to see that the butterfly was able to fully develop into a butterfly that could open its wings. According to our prior knowledge from rearing monarchs in the fall, we were quite certain that the fluids would not properly be pumped into the wings. As a teacher, I also learned along with the kids and we all agreed that this would be worth doing again!! It was a great way for kids to become interested in space and conservation. If the experiment was conducted at an earlier time of the year would the success rate be higher? When we raise monarchs in our classroom in the fall and we have the air conditioning running and the temps are 68-72 our 30 caterpillars made it an adult. They ate either butterfly weed, common milk weed or the blue vine milk weed, depending on where we found the eggs. We also tagged our butterflies that hatched after Labor Day in hopes that one may make it to Mexico! Great program!! Hope to be a part of it again!!
62Dec 21, 2009 1:17 PMVery cool experiment! Very engaging for the kids and exciting for us adults! Thank you!
63Dec 21, 2009 3:12 PMI think that you should have done this earler in the year. the above comment is from the only student who was really invovled withthe project. speaking as the teacher who sponsored her, I have the following comments: it was never clear where the on line resources were. Also, since we have raised many monarchs over the years in the fall and let them free, we were all pretty upset when we realized the monarchs could not be let go - it being mid-winter in Vermont. Rowie looked after them faithfully, and the rest of us were intersted in observing - she is going to try to keep them alive.
64Dec 21, 2009 3:23 PMIt would have been helpful to have help in making arrangements for butterflies after they hatched as it is winter in Iowa and the butterflies couldn't be released outside. I did take it to a local college where there is a greenhouse. I didn't always feel that the information provided by Monarch Watch staff was as helpful as I would have liked. The information on building habitats was sketchy and unclear so we did not follow those instructions.
65Dec 21, 2009 3:27 PM The motality rate of both the caterpillars and emerging monarchs was much higher than when we raised them from the wild in the fall. We also found carnivorous behavior in three different cages. In one cage, the two larger caterpillars ate the smallest one and in two other cages, one large caterpillar attacked and ate one of the Js. This necessitated our separating the caterpillars when they began to pupate. Interesting to see the vaiance in viabliity in lab reared caterpillars, versus those obtained from the wild. I'm sure the experiment was effected by temperature, time of year and artificial diet. Thank you for the oppportunity to share in this fascinating experience.
66Dec 21, 2009 3:34 PMMy caterpillars were tiny when I received them, and they did not develop near as quickly as the ones on the station. I think it would have been better to have them be more similar in age. But all in all it was a great educational experience for everyone! I'm very happy that we could take part in it.
67Dec 21, 2009 3:39 PMWe tried to link up to the website...I must have done something wrong! I have tons of pictures. We used velcro as a means to hang feeders and a place for crysalis to attach. It worked well for holding the feeder. The crysalises all chose their own areas to attach, and each did find an area where each could successfully attach. We also found that "BIC Dry Erases Boxes" were almost a perfect size to use as a rearing kit. One of the most important things we learned was why the feeders needed to be placed on the tops of the rearing kits. Amazing that I never understood that before! I am sorry to say that that may be why out adult butterflies didn't readily go to the feeder that held the nectar. We placed it on the bottom of the butterfly condo. Should we have placed it higher? We were hoping to raise these butterflies throught spring. I need to go back and read how that may have been possible. This experiment was used as an introduction for all of our science experiments. The children were so involved. You did a wonderful job! Thank you for thinking to include the elementary schools, actually, all of the schools in the Atlantis experiment with Monarch Butterflies. I am now considered a bit obsessed with butterflies!
68Dec 21, 2009 6:59 PMThe directions for the rearing chamber construction was somewhat confusing.
69Dec 21, 2009 10:31 PMProviding a consistent temperature was a HUGE problem for us, as our school has an energy conserving program and our peak temp never got past 70 degrees F. I tried taking the caterpillars home over the weekend, but it still was much less than ideal. Also, the timing of things was tough, as it was over Thanksgiving. I realize that this was not your fault however. My overall impression is that I LOVED following the MIS updates from the ISS, but rearing the monarchs in the classroom didn't work very well for us. I raise monarchs during the summer and have no problems whatsoever, but cooler temperature weather in Michigan just doesn't work well at all. My students LOVED watching the videos! They, of course, thought it was great that caterpillar poop floats in space! Third grade, need I say more? :) Thank you for offering this experience to so many!! I know it took lots of scurrying and working hard!! It was a wonderful thing to be a part of!
70Dec 21, 2009 11:10 PM We are a K-6th independent school in Atlanta that is incorporating a Monarch Butterfly theme cross curriuclum. Two science teachers are heading to Mexico in February. This fit in perfectly and really got the entire school very excited. We have flexibilty with our curriculum so we would be very interested in participating in any other programs and ideas you have. Thank you!
71Dec 22, 2009 1:33 AMMy high school students used the butterflies as an experiment documenting what happened each day in Spanish. Because one of my classes was on a unit of study about travel, my students planned a trip from Canada to Mexico with the butterflies, so to speak. In Spanish, they had to describe their trip, their stops, their preparation, the climate and their wardrobe, cool places in Mexico to stop, their budget, the route, their mode of transportation, etc. They placed their trips on a wiki. My other class created a website complete with their research about butterflies in Spanish.
72Dec 22, 2009 1:35 PMI teach 3rd grade and I feel my students may have been too young. We had a problem that a student poked their finger through the plastic on the chamber, and the caterpillars escaped during the weekend. Surprisingly, the caterpillars did attach to items in my classroom and developed their chrysallis, but the adult butterflies did not emerge/develop fully. It was a very worthwhile project and we learned a great deal.
73Dec 22, 2009 2:03 PMIt seemed to us that the artificial diet may have been incomplete or somehow imperfect. I would like to have done the same experiment during the spring or late summer/early fall (end of school year, or beginning of school year.) That would have allowed us to collect milkweek plants, and attempt to raise the caterpillars on natural diets, rather than solely on the artificial diet. It would also have made keeping them at a warm temperature easier. We had them at room temperature, and brought them home over weekends. Then we had an extreme cold snap so I kept them home for a week, so as not to chill them while brining them back to school. We were disappointed that so many failed to pupate, and we are still waiting for our two successful pupaes to emerge. My husband and I have considerable experience rearing several different species of butterflies, including monarchs, and really wanted to share the beauty of monarchs with the students.
74Dec 22, 2009 2:15 PMMy caterpillars all died within a week. They did not seen to eat the food and died. What else could I do?
75Dec 22, 2009 2:25 PMWe raise monarchs in our classroom in the fall when they are readily available outside. I don't use your set up materials but use you for lessons and ideas. I post from home in the summer when I see my first adult monarch. Please keep doing what yu are doing. This was a great project!!!
76Dec 22, 2009 4:31 PMThank you so much for sharing this opportunity. My second grade students studied the butterfly lifecycle in first grade. We added more detail by learning about the instar stages. I also used this project as an opportunity to discuss the inquiry process and setting up a fair investigation. Students used the photo's and videos from the website as well as classroom observations to collect data in their science notebooks to answer the question: Do caterpillers and butterflies grow differently on Earth vs. in space?
77Dec 22, 2009 7:54 PMI hope that I can do this again. I learned things that I would do differently next time. It was very engaging for my students.
78Dec 22, 2009 8:35 PMOur Environmental Science class found this experience valuable. However, I often found the guidelines to be unclear. Ex. the construction of the rearing chamber and feeding of the monarchs.
79Dec 23, 2009 5:59 PMWe were surprised the caterpillars were so small. The ones we have around here in nature are larger.
80Dec 24, 2009 12:38 AMMy class and I really enjoyed raising the caterpillars, unfortunately, a family crisis removed me from the class and we were unable to do many experiments. I really look forward to doing this next year. The students are really excited about the butterflies.
81Dec 24, 2009 7:59 AMI did not like the artificial diet. The caterpillars went for days without eating. Only 2 of my 6 lived to become butterflies. They died shortly after emerging. They were very small and deformed. The experiment was wonderful, but my personal experience was not all that great. It was a lot of money for this outcome.
82Dec 24, 2009 5:39 PMWe still have living butterflies and have observed one of the males mating with the female. We sent an email requesting information regarding the possibility of egg laying, etc. but did not receive a return email and are very curious about this.
83Dec 24, 2009 7:46 PMAs my third graders find, feed, and release adult monarchs each fall, this provided a very interesting supplement to my beginning science unit of the year. My students enjoyed this very much. We were able to compare and contrast the diets, life, and problems monarchs face in each environment. Thank you for providing this opportunity. We also learned about space and the ISS which was wonderful.
84Dec 25, 2009 5:49 PMI feel that I did not use the Monarchs in SPace experience nearly as well as I could have. I usually collect monarch eggs all summer, rear the caterpillars and then release the butterflies. I always have a few eggs in September, and my students then rear the caterpillars--and we tag them and release them. I think with the Monarchs in Space, I was always concerned about what to do with the butterflies. The truth is, they are in a container in a room at my house. I am waiting for them to die. It saddens me. I thought I might try to continue their life cycle--but, I do not have the milkweed plant so they could lay their eggs on the bottom of the leaves. Also, using the technology to keep udated did not happen as it should/could have. My students did watch the Space Shuttle launch--which was thoroughly enjoyed by all of us. But, after that--acces to Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, etc., were just not easily accessible for my students. In fact, there is a firewall to prevent student and teacher access during the school day.
85Dec 25, 2009 11:04 PMThis definitely added excitement and interest to my classroom. When the students entered the room the first thing many would do was check on what the caterpillars were doing. Later when we study astronomy, our monarch experiment will be wonderful background information for them. My primary goal for this experiment was to make sure the caterpillars lived! To that end I was worried about the amount of food that was sent. I usually have milkweed leaves but they aren't available in November. I used the last of the food you sent on the day the last two caterpillars entered the pupa state. I fed them every day... and sometimes twice a day. I made sure not to put too much in even though the directions said I would have plenty of food. One of my caterpillars made it only half way through the transformation to a chrysalis. It was half caterpillar and half chrysalis when it died. Another chrysalis/butterfly made it to the transparent stage and began to split so the butterfly could come out. However, it, too, died. I wondered if either one would have happened if they had had an abundance of food. I have raised monarch caterpillars in my classroom before but haven't had problems like that. Also, I was somewhat disappointed in the information from the ISS. I had hoped to be able to see video of the caterpillars changing to a chrysalis and then to a butterfly. If those pictures were there, I didn't find them. Last, I took my 4 butterflies to a museum in Chicago that has a large butterfly room. I'm glad I was able to do that as I would have felt bad letting them stay in my terrarium at school. I think the students would have had a problem with watching the butterflies eventually dying. Having said all that, I want to emphasize again that both my students and I really enjoyed being a part of this.
86Dec 26, 2009 1:40 PM I teach kindergarten. This was a wonderful experience for my students. We had reared Monarchs in the fall using milkweed plants. They are very interested in science. We discussed gravity and then came up with six questions for a journal based on when we thought gravity would be a problem. (Can caterpillars crawl and find food in space? Can caterpillars find a place to make a chrysalis in space? Can caterpillars hand in a J in space? Can caterpillars shed their skin in space? Can caterpillars come out of a chrysalis and spread their wings in space?) We made picture journals comparing our caterpillars in the science lab with those in space. We were able to watch the space shuttle launch and land. A science professor from Huntington University came to show us a Space Shuttle insulating tile, a piece of a launch pad, and a piece of a rocket. (His father had worked for NASA and helped develop rocket fuel for them.) The story of our experiment made the front page of the paper. My students' comments were featured, and they were very insightful. I know they are kindergarteners, but they understood the questions and what happened in space and why. Our butterflies went to live in Florida with one of the teachers in our building. Thanks for the wonderful opportunity for us to do "real science" and not just experiments that peole already know the answer. We loved it!
87Dec 27, 2009 4:44 PMThis was honestly an amazing project. My students hardly learn anything about space science as our district's curricula practically omits focus on this learning standard (I am not kidding!). I was fortunate to attend the Space Academy for Educators this summer and this year it has been my goal to integrate space science into my 3 middle school classes. Sixth graders have Earth Science, 7th graders have Life Science, and 8th graders have Physical Science. It was great to add "bonus" instruction...they were totally captivated with having live creatures in our classroom and being able to compare them to what was going on with NASA. They were totally enthralled with everything...no joke! We literally watched Atlantis launch back in November--for every one of my students it was their first time seeing a launch. I teach in inner-city Chicago and my students don't see stuff like this at home and in their neighborhood. They were totally captivated coming into my room each day, and even though only one of the four chrysalids made it into almost flying, they loved it. Thank you for providing such an inspiring idea! Way to go! I wish there were two changes--first off, I liked having photos available from a different website rather than YouTube. I have absolutely no access to YouTube at my school, so ripping videos at my house and then bringing them into school was a hastle. Plus, a lot of my students don't have access to the Internet at home, so they were limited to seeing the photos and the few videos that we were able to see at school. Also, I am hopeful that there can be scholarships for schools with limited budgets. I paid for this project out of my own pocket as I wasn't fast enough for an "A" project! But sincerest thanks...it was great!
88Dec 27, 2009 5:48 PMThe Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter resources may have been good, but our school is blocked from them. Our butterflies emerged on the last day of school before Christmas break (Dec. 22) so my students did not have the opportunity to really watch them. I have constructed a butterfly habitat and for the three Monarchs and have been going to school to feed them every few days. I don't know yet how long they will stay alive with the temperatures being low in the building. I would like to have taught more lessons dealing with the Monarch development, but it has been difficult to adjust with the lessons we had already begun. I do think it is a great opportunity. I would like to do this again, but I need to know how to deal with the artificial diet. I have always used fresh milkweed in the fall.
89Dec 27, 2009 9:05 PMFor my kindergarteners, who have already raised and tagged more than 100 Monarchs, this was fascinating! They knew what to expect with metamorphosis and were able to 'expound' at length with visitors, parents, and interested friends. We extended the exercise into math with graphs and time lines and calendar work, as well as journaling and questioning. The children are now VERY interested in space, the planets, and astronauts. We got 'class gifts' for the holidays of rockets, the space shuttle, and solar system toys. They are creating all sorts of space stories during center time when they play with blocks or draw in the art center. Our third graders are anticipating their space unit at about the time the Monarchs should return from space in Feb. We Kdg-ners are hoping to partner with them in some of their activities. We hope one of the shuttle astronauts will be able to visit us then.
90Dec 28, 2009 3:42 AMWhat a wonderful experience. We homeschool and the kids loved doing this at home and following the caterpillars progress in space. Monarchs are new to us, as we have raised and released painted ladies for several years now. We also have citrus trees and passion vines, therefore we are familiar with swallowtail and gulf fritillary caterpillars/butterflies. Thank you for this experience. God bless.
91Dec 28, 2009 4:10 AMOnce the butterflies emerged from their chrysalis' I noted they didn't go to the feeder (sugar water in a cup) to eat. I have raised painted lady caterpillars to butterflies in the past and found that small, fresh pieces of orange (changed daily) attracted the butterflies well for feeding. So I tried the same technique for the monarchs. I placed the orange pieces on the floor of the butterfly pavillion. As before with the painted ladies, the monarchs responded well to that style of feeding. My educated guess is that the bright color and fragrance of the orange helped to attract the butterflies so they could successfully feed.
92Dec 28, 2009 5:45 PMMonarch's in Space was a very exciting experiment. It was an awesome extension to our scientific method unit. I made journals for the kids to draw pictures of our classroom monarchs and the monarch's in space, which I would show on our projector from your pictures and video gallery. (I'd be glad to send you a copy.)They would then write about their observations and what they thought would happen next. Most were very surprised with the conclusions of their hypotheses. Thank-you for letting so many kids be a part of this!
93Dec 29, 2009 12:01 AMI was disappointed in the lack of resources provided. I had never raised monarchs and even with the online resources available I had to spend my own money in order to have the proper materials needed to rear the caterpillars. We also released them in the wild before the holidays and it was windy and cold. We were worried that they wouldn't last. We also have a science curriculum that we follow so quick, easy, and time effective experiments would have been useful. I don't think I would buy another kit unless I received all of the materials needed to rear monarchs. The kit should ship with written instructions and all materials needed. The parent who bought these for me also never recieved a bill and I hadn't received one either.
94Dec 29, 2009 12:40 PMWe have had poor results raising monarchs in our classroom. Many of the caterpillars we raised this fall on local milkweed, once in the chrysalis state,turned to "black slime". This also happened to most of our chrysalis' in the Monarchs in Space experiment. The lone caterpillar that successfully went into a chrysalis, hatched with deformed wings that basically never "unfurled".
95Dec 29, 2009 5:15 PMAll of ours reached pupal stage; one was damaged, one reached the point at which ready to emerge, but never did; 3 emerged, but wings were crumpled. Only one emerged normally, and is still alive as of Dec. 29, but it's difficult to get him to feed. We're using gatorade-soaked cotton balls and fresh watermelon. Would have appreciated more information on care of the adult, and access to a question and answer blog for trouble-shooting.
96Dec 29, 2009 6:42 PMThank you!
97Dec 29, 2009 6:43 PMwe loved the experiment and had fun with the comparison to the space caterpillars. we continued to compare their growth rate afteer we ran out of artificial food and then fed the caterpillars with asclepias. the growth rate was significantly different. we did not allow our pupas to emerge. right now, we are keeping them sheltered outdoor, and hopefully next spring, we will see them emerge and fly away. (i just couldn't stand to let them die!) so, i guess we are continuing the experiment this way.
98Dec 29, 2009 10:18 PMThe experiment worked great until both containers were bumped and several of the pupas were knocked off and died the other 2 pupa were leaking fluids and never reached adult butterflies. Our students lived each day to see what was happening with the Monarchs - and the renewed interest in the space shuttle and space station program. This is real life science the best we can give our students.
99Dec 31, 2009 4:46 PMQuestion 11. This was our biggest challenge throughout the experiment. The food began to dry out within the first few days. We added water at first but then added gaterade and the moisture lasted longer. They then began to eat the balsa wood by 11/15. 2 were removed becuase they stopped eating and I began to see spots on them around this time. The remaining cats. run out of food by 11/29 and continued to eat the balsa wood until we worked hard and found some live Mexican milkweed. They ran out of that within 12 hours. We found some antilope milkweed, they ate half of it and then finally began to form a button on 12/3/09. Question 18. When the food dried out we used gaterade to moisten it. We ended up moving the cats to a larger habitat during their extended 5th instar life because we discovered the butterflies would need a much larger habitat. We were not prepared for that. We started with 2 habitats so when we moved them we used 1 aquarium but put a plastic wall to separate them. Question 23. We feel the first recommendation for the habitat should have been for a much larger container. It is difficult to clean the smaller enclosure and not damage the cats. Also, the butterflies need a larger container to be able to open and fly around. It would make for less long term maintanance and then more time for learning. Question 50. We feel that the Community Forum/ Links / Videos / Media Links / Photo and video galleries were wonderful on every level. It was great to view them and see everyones input includine the space stations. Unfortunatley we tried to join the forum and never got approved. It would have been nice to get some feed back on why our caterpillars lived an extra 10 days in 5th instar stage and our challenges in dealing with that. Our school has included an article in the school newspaper, leapoard life and there will be a video presentation that cycles through the daily annoucements which will all end up reaching over 600 students. Thank you very much for this experience. It has been lots of fun and educational.
100Jan 2, 2010 12:34 AMThe videos from the project were the best!!! Thank you for this chance to connect with the Space Station! Please e-mail when your SPACE LINE is available in your shop! I love your logo!!!
101Jan 2, 2010 1:24 AMIf this project is offered again, we need more artificial diet. It was painful to watch a caterpillar starve to death.
102Jan 2, 2010 10:01 PMWe were able to release our adult Monarchs at the Butterfly Pavilion in Westminster, CO. It was hard to keep a constant temp. within a school environment where heating and temps are out of teacher control.
103Jan 4, 2010 4:17 AMHaving participated in the anniversary celebration of The Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, this space project was a perfect science meld. We started rearing the instars at school. But due to weather conditions I had to move them to home. But while at school students were active observers at growth rate, eating capacity, markings, "legs', head and tail symmetry, antennae, sleeping times, activity times, skin molting and ingestion and caterpillar waste production. All these observations caused student discussions and marked "I didn't know they did that!" With severe weather changes here in Houston, discussions about survival in storms and from birds resulted. This science exposure was the best classroom experience I have ever seen work so well. And all I did was watch, listen and show them how to research their questions on the computer. The gallery and journals on net were such an asset. When the Monarchs arrived, I just gave them oranges, cut in wide slices and a bit churned. Their proboscis had no problem indulging. They'd sit on their end of the orange. It was most unforgettable observing these wondrous beauties up close.
104Jan 4, 2010 2:14 PMThank you! Great Experience!!!
105Jan 4, 2010 4:55 PMI was thrilled to participate in the Monarch project. I cannot believe how all the kids were engrossed in this. They named all the caterpillars and were very sad when some of them died. We had 7 monarchs, but are now down to one. I would love to do this again in the future. We are building a butterfly garden as part of Outdoor Classroom. Thanks for the opportunity to do this.
106Jan 4, 2010 6:19 PMWe experienced a high mortality rate amoung our 12 larva as most died around the 4-5 instar. They just stopped growing and and eventually died. We had two that pupated and they both emerged as adult females. Could the mortality be from a parasite or due to the diet? We made 4 containers and used them in 5 classrooms.
107Jan 4, 2010 8:42 PMThe problem we had was the classroom temperature. At night, our district turns the heat off. I was not able to keep the habitats warm enough at school for the caterpillars to stay active and growing. I took them home over Thanksgiving and they were active in the warmer environment. However I didn't have enough food for them to pupate properly. This then became the topic of discussion, with the students. I love your program and may tag again, but anything I do with live insects will be before mid September. The nights won't get too cold then.
108Jan 5, 2010 1:41 AMWe totally enjoyed this experience. Thank you for the opportunity to participate.
109Jan 5, 2010 2:53 AMWe could not watch the launch online through the nasa website because of media diffuculty. It would have been great to watch it through your site. The journal was nice but the pictures were wonderful. Updating emails for journal entries would be more condusive for participation as I would check my email quicker than the journal page. I kept my caterpillars at school until they formed into a chrysalis. Due to weather changes, out of school for Thanksgiving and keeping them at a constant temp, I choose to let them hatch at home and take pictures of them to school for the students to see them. When they hatched out, I took the nursery to school for the students to see the butterflies. We fed the butterflies fruit instead of gatoraid due to ants wanting to get to the nectar. We monitored the fruit and changed it daily. We have one caterpillar get hungry and did not grow as fast as the other caterpillars. This one died with failure to survive. Otherwise, we had a grand experiment and the children learned tremendous amounts of information about the butterflies and space. Thanks for the great opportunity to participate.
110Jan 5, 2010 1:26 PMI found the instructions in the kit confusing. I had 2 kits and in each kit we had 3 caterpillars that survived and then 2 butterfilies, now we have 3 total butterflies. I found it unusual that in each kit 3 of the 6 caterpillars survived. There was not enough space for the butterflies in the chambers when they came out of the chrysallis so several of their wings did not unfold. I would do things diferently next time, but I felt it was a good experience for the children to compare with the caterpillars we raised in the fall on milkweed compared to the caterpillars on the special diet. By the way what was in the diet? Thank you
111Jan 5, 2010 2:20 PMWe were unable to access any of the sites to view the pictures due to safeguards on our internet server. It would have been good to have the pictures posted on a site not using facebook, twitter or other sites blocked by our server.The sites you used are for social networking and all of these are blocked.
112Jan 5, 2010 4:06 PMOur 5th grade gifted students use Monarch migration as a case study to understand migration, biological needs, and human impact. Students already knew much about the Monarch, so this was an opportunity to participate in a much bigger project/experiment. The holidays prevented us from investigating with other experiments. We just wanted them to make it.
113Jan 5, 2010 8:21 PMI have raised Monarchs for over 30 years. My students have been involved in tagging and have benefitted from your materials. This kit was the worst experience. My students watched the caterpillars starve and eat each other. This was neither educational nor humane. This is NOT something in which I would participate again.
114Jan 6, 2010 3:14 PMWe would prefer more artificial diet in the future. We were disappointed because only one of our twelve caterpillars made it to adulthood.
115Jan 6, 2010 5:27 PMI used this program with ESL students in our reading and writing class. It was integrated into daily lessons. We did a lot of journaling, questioning, and predicting.
116Jan 7, 2010 9:34 PMIt was late in the year for monarch it would be nice to let them go free when they become butterflies!
117Jan 7, 2010 9:35 PMI could not find the link to the caterpillars in space so it was hard to see the space/monarch coorelation
118Jan 7, 2010 9:38 PMStudents enjoyed the activities and watching the monarchs complete their life cycles.
119Jan 7, 2010 9:39 PMWe were disappointed with the number of Monarchs that successfully emerged from the chrysalis as adults. Raising Monarchs in New England at this time of year seemed cruel. The classroom temperature varied, they could not have a natural milkweed diet, and they could not be released back into nature. My classes have been successfully raising Monarchs for 30 years, tagging them, and then having the joy of releasing them. I would suggest that in the future, if the experiments are to take place during the colder seasons, that the classrooms be chosen from the appropriate climates or just match the season with the region. Aside from this, it was a valuable experience for my class and they were able to make some interesting hypotheses as to why the larva took longer than normal to form the pupa and why the adult Monarchs did not emerge. It was also a wonderful experience watching the Monarchs from the space station.
120Jan 7, 2010 10:12 PM We did not raise any butterflies and we were disappointed. I felt that perhaps it was not warm enough but the whole project was fun anyway and something that I would try again. Thanks for the opportunity!
121Jan 7, 2010 11:43 PMThe kids absolutely loved it!Thanks for offering this opportunity.
122Jan 7, 2010 11:54 PMMy students were very excited about participating in this project. We have an large active garden that I use in my classroom to enhance the science program. We were interviewed by the local newspaper regarding this project. I was contacted by two people from the community that were interested in our butterfly projects. The entire school of 300 students were interested in the Monarchs in Space project. I Feel that participating in this project allowed the entire school and the community we live in to enjoy the butterfly experiments. If you would like a copy of the article send me an email it would be nice to share.
123Jan 8, 2010 12:30 AMI was highly disappointed in the outcome of my experiment. My students witnessed the suffering of my many caterpillars due to the food supply drying out. In our area milkweed is now obsolete, and I was relying on the food supply included with the kit. Out of the 6 caterpillars I received, only 2 actually made it to the adult stage and one of these couldn't fly. All but one made it to the chrysalis stage, but unfortunately some didn't develop any further. I have conducted this type of experiment in my classroom for years in the fall while relying on the milkweed supply for nourishment. I just thought it would be interesting for the students to compare this to the way of rearing them with a different food supply as well as with the monarchs in space program. We even had a ride for them to Florida by one of the grandparents of a student. However, the one that was actually healthy only survived for 4 days.
124Jan 8, 2010 1:00 AMMy students and I definitely enjoyed participating in the program.
125Jan 8, 2010 1:21 AMHi! What made this a spectacular project for our high school kids unbeknownst to me was that the majority of students did not know there were people living in space. This was a learning prerequisite I did not anticipate.We started the experiment with an analogous (dimension wise)rearing box created by our IT teacher...had no attached lights due to the possible danger of a fire. Then we took time to research "life in space" using NASA information. I also found a paper model of the space station students could build. This comparison of humans in microgravity vs. Earth's gravity turned out to be really interesting. The students then realized, for example what would happen to the frass when released, the purpose of the true and prolegs, as well as the difficulty in creating a pupa and pumping wings with blood in microgravity. Indiana Academic Standards include abiotic factors affecting living organisms, so this experiment fit in well. Another cool aspect of this for us is that one of our recent graduates is employed by NASA (robotics) so we corresponded with him throughout the mission. The biggest obstacle for us was that Youtube is blocked so I had to print off photos of ISS monarchs from home for us to compare. (We journaled both environments). Thank you, it was great fun and proved a worthwhile project. Our biology kids loved being a part of significant biology experiments that scientists were doing....not to mention, in space!
126Jan 8, 2010 1:43 AMI split my 6 larvae into 2 container; 1 the space station rearing container and the black to go container provided with the food. All 3 larvae died in the space container and 1 died in the to go container. 2 made it to the 'J' stage and 1 of them fell during pupation. I was able to successfully rear 1 male to adulthood. I teach K-6 science. My students enjoyed the whole process and concept of rearing Monarch butterfly larvae. We tied it into every grade level K-6. Our 6th graders are preparing for a science fair, so we made butterfly gliders and measured the distance that they flew. I would definitely participate again. Thanks for choosing our school. We were wondering if the reason that all 3 died in our space chamber container was because there was no source for air to get inside?!?
127Jan 8, 2010 2:34 AMI am not sure if temperature or lighting was the problem, but we only had two caterpillars become butterflies, and the butterflies' each had a wing that never became functional. Therefore, their lifetime was limited.
128Jan 8, 2010 3:31 AMThis was one of the best things we have done. The problem we had was temperature. We did not supply temperature until we saw that the development of the larva was was way too slow.We supplied a lamp but it was too late. Also- it was too difficult to transfer the tiny caterpillars. Only two survivied. All in all it was a great project! Thank you for doing it!
129Jan 8, 2010 4:01 AMWe really enjoyed constructing our chamber, but most of our caterpillars didn't survive. Our butterfly/life cycle unit usually takes place in September. We have always used the milkweed plant to raise them, and have been much more successful. The best part of this program was the link with the Space Program. Thanks so much!
130Jan 8, 2010 4:32 AMWe have 6 teachers in our Team and I wanted to include them in the project, but it was hard for the other teachers to be motivated because they did not have caterpillars for their classroom. My class found the chamber very interesting since we had just finished raising painted lady butterflies. We could not figure out why the caterpillars died, but we think the food got to dry and we were only putting a small amount in the chamber at a time. It could have been that the caterpillars spent time in different rooms and the other teachers were not giving them fresh food when they needed it. We also thought maybe there was not enough air in the chambers. We did not make any air holes in the chambers because the directions did not indicate them. This may have been an error on our part. My students were so interested in this project. We took lots of pictures and we kept a class journal. We were all disappointed when the caterpillars died. I would like to do this again, so please keep my name on the list.
131Jan 8, 2010 5:10 AMThis was exciting for the children, but didn't result in much scientific study because we were unable to prepare adequately for the following reasons. We didn't receive the adequate information until after we had the caterpillars. I would have like to make more scientific type experiments, but I had to ask a local expert to help me set it up. It came on Friday and the space shuttle went up on Monday so I didn't have much time to prepare adequately. The instructions we first received for the "housing" were too vague and assumed we knew quite a bit about the monarch life cycle. It could be a really great tool to help children learn.
132Jan 8, 2010 7:12 AMThe whole experience continues to be a great one for us. We still have two adult butterflies, one male and one female, so we are hoping to have eggs that will hatch out to new caterpillars. This was a very easy project especially for all that was learned! The only negative thing was that the rearing chambers got very messy and began to get moldy/mildew. At first I was trying to just leave the chambers alone like the ones on the ISS but then I decided to clean them out and was very glad we did so. Thank you for providing this opportunity!
133Jan 8, 2010 11:12 AMWhen I checked the participants area everyone was talking about how happy they were to be in the program. I would like a more "scientific" sharing of progress site. It was frustrating that I could not get the adults to drink. I tried placing the gatorade in several locations. I saw one drink one time. We created a presentation with pictures and video clips while each student shared a bit about the project. This was presented to other classrooms in the school. We were featured in the Fort Wayne newspaper's education section.
134Jan 8, 2010 12:41 PMThe use of facebook, twitter and you tube was a poor choice. We could not access any of the videos or many logs because our district blocks all of these sites. Even the videos on the monarch site linked with blocked sites. The best I could do was copy pictures a few days old of the space station progress. This turned a very exciting opportunity for my students into a mediocre, and one they lost interest it (as far as the space station part) quite quickly. The students had already raised butterflies in 1st grade so the biology and life cycle wasn't too new, but I taught more advanced material. I was disappointed that someone hadn't thought about these sites being blocked by any sensible school district!
135Jan 8, 2010 1:38 PMWas difficult to do in a MN winter, because monarchs cannont be set free and the cold was hard on them when we needed to transport them.
136Jan 8, 2010 1:49 PMWe were unable to watch the videos at school because our district blocked the website's videos. I am unsure if you can do anything about that. My assistant principal was able to upload the videos from home and then we watched them at school.
137Jan 8, 2010 1:52 PMI had difficulty getting on the community forum. Also, the updates to Monarachs in space were late. I needed the information earlier than comments were posted as far as what we were supposed to do. I have raised monarachs before and that helped. I think this was a great program!
138Jan 8, 2010 2:16 PMThis was a wonderful, real-world experience for the children.
139Jan 8, 2010 2:30 PMThis was an incredible opportunity to discuss actual research and identification of controls and variables in scientific inquiry. Additionally, it genereated a lot of interest in the Space Shuttle program and the International Space Station. I will definitely join the Monarch Watch program this year and included Monarch tagging and data collection into my science classes.
140Jan 8, 2010 2:33 PMI followed the directions completely, but our caterpillars died. Then the only two butterflies that came out of the chrysalis were deformed and died soon after. I raise monarchs every year from plants and caterpillars I find. We were very disappointed in the outcome of our project.
141Jan 8, 2010 4:07 PMThe studen's were extremely motivated about rearing the caterpillars. The issues that we encountered led to discussions about controlled variables vs. independent variables. The time of year made it difficult to locate any fresh food to feed them and the artificial diet did not smell good.
142Jan 8, 2010 4:31 PMThe timing of when the catapillars were dellivered was inconvenient. With the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas, our school was not in session when the catapillars were supposed to be delivered. They were delivered right before Christmas break and I ended up having to set up the environments at home and keep them with me. As a result, the students did not get to be involved. The catapillars died before I went back to school with them. Possilby consider doing this experiment starting in January or August to avoid long school breaks.
143Jan 8, 2010 4:41 PMI teach 7th grade advanced science, our involvement was limited to a few minutes each period and logging on sporadically to the site. I believe self contained classrooms might have more time to do the study the justice it deserves. We also stuggled with temperature because heat and air are not kept on the entire 24 hours so there was a wide spread of temps...hot, warm, cool and very cold.
144Jan 8, 2010 4:57 PMOur larvae lagged behind the space station due to our inability to maintain the protocol temperature. Our larvae did complete their life cycles and lived between 4 to 15 days afterwards. Due to the timing, most of their adult life was spent in my home during the Christmas holidays. I used this mostly for Scientific Method and a class Journal Entry with my High School students. We spent only abt 5 minutes per day on this. At the end of class each day, I gave them an update via pictures/videos/power point slides and then I had a question for them to address in their journals. At first I didn't think my students were very interested, but at the end of the experiment they all expressed great empathy when the butterflies expired. It was then obvious to me that they were more interested and involved in the experiment than I had originally thought. I have a total of about 125 high school freshmen who are taking Biology. I used this in all 6 sections of my biology classes. This followed state standards for using Scientific Method/investigation and animal life cycles. I thought it was a great activity to get my students thinking about how to set up an experiment, what you have to plan and do for experiments, following protocol, recording results, and making guesses (hypothesis) about outcomes, and to express what they thought would happen or not happen and why. We had good classroom discussions and questions about this experiment.
145Jan 8, 2010 5:18 PMI would like to rear Monarchs in the future on milkweed. So the kits would need to be available no later than Sept. 1st in order for me to acquire a plant. I did not build a rearing chamber at first (big mistake) and used an aquarium. That's why the diet dried out, too. Also, the temperature was too low, so it slowed down the larvae development which caused emergence during our Christmas break. It's important to follow directions. Maybe telling the consequences of varying the rearing chambers should be stressed. It was awesome raising larvae along w/other classrooms and the space station scientists. Thank you for the opportunity.
146Jan 8, 2010 6:49 PMWe loved the experience!
147Jan 8, 2010 8:54 PMI am so grateful to have been able to involve my students in this experiment! We raise monarchs in the fall every year...this was the best culminating lesson, and one the kids will never forget! I did make a video to send to Astronaut Williams, in response to his asking for questions, and I was unable to send it...even with my technology director's assistance...I'm still working on it...? The AUTHENTIC LEARNING that took place with your project is fabulous! Again, thank you so much for including schools and for including such quality resources!
148Jan 8, 2010 9:55 PMWe enjooyed tham but would like some iedeas on how to change up experiment in the shipping.
149Jan 8, 2010 10:36 PMI have successfully raised monarch butterflies for several years. This year we tagged and released over 50. I thought raising the larvae would be very similar, but our larvae were quite small in comparrison to the ones on the shuttle and I didn't think they tended to take well to the artificial diet. It just didn't seem like they were eating well. All lavae died before 4th instar. Most were at 2nd instar when we got them.
150Jan 9, 2010 3:54 PMI borrowed a light timer from a collegue and used a CFL bulb to conserve energy. Unfortunatly the monarch caterpillars that I had set up using the 12 hr light/dark all died. My classroom was just too hot not too cold. It actually took the death of the caterpillars for my administration to do something about the heat. It had been 85 degrees (Old heating system)! During the day I was told to open the windows(and see tax dollars fly right out them). My caterpillars were slower overall to develop. So I had to leave them over Thanksgiving break. When I came back the three caterpillars were dead and the food looked a dark brown. I was very frustrated. I assume it was due to the extreme heat, but I wasn't there so I don't know. The other three caterpillars I was raising in ambient/classroom light, so I ended taking them home over the break. Two of the three survived the commute. So I ended up having two pupate. Both emerged, but one had a broken foot, possible trauma from a chrysalis that fell. I had to tie it back up to hang. Ironically the one with the broken foot outlived the other. Both were females. When I raised monarchs earlier in the fall, I had used milkweed. Incidently all had been male. The students were familiar with the lifecycle by the time this experiement took place, but classes still stopped when they pupated and emerged. Between my own rearing and this experiement, about 130 students were able to observe the process of metamorphasis. They were also able to witness the difference between males and females. I believe many found the experience intriguing and mesmerizing. I was able to feed them Gatorade. Only it dried up pretty quickly in my room. I had to replace the cotton ball every day. One unique thing that I did was I glued a bottle cap to a foam red flower. I then glued the flower to the center of the stick. That way the butterfly had a perch to get nectar. Overall liked the experiment. I was very suprised as I told my administration, that the monarch caterpillars survivied riding in the shuttle and dealt with microgravity, but they did not survive the heat in my classroom. Luckily the maintaince guy happened to be standing in the office when I said this and the heat was fixed right away. Nowadays its 75-77 a little warm but nothing like the 85.
151Jan 10, 2010 9:09 PMWe had several of our adults emerge deformed--i.e. wings too small, body unable to separate from chrysallis, wings deformed. It would be helpful to know if we should expect this or not. It was very upsetting to some of the students. Since we reared them in the classroom, we were at the mercy of the poor humidity control and lost food to mold. If the chrysallis falls, what do we do? We tried to hand them up and were unable. My students were extremely engaged, especially during the emergence---most had never witnessed this event. The deformaties sparked their concern and interest to evaluate exactly why it happened. I think they felt some degree of responsibility for causing the deformaties. A few took the idea and turned it into their science fair projects!!!
152Jan 11, 2010 3:31 AMI was unable to answer some of the questions accurately because we were unsuccessful in completing the project as designed. 5 of the 6 caterpillars died at various instars. Early on the food dried out and I think they didn't have enough to eat. In the future it would be helpful for the Guide to give more detailed instructions/suggestions as to how much food to put out at the beginning. As I did an extensive unit on Monarchs in the fall and we successfully raised and released more than 100 monarchs I did not feel the need to repeat lessons on the biology of the monarch. We were interested in the comparisons with the space monarchs because we were doing a unit on space. Because the caterpillars didn't survive, we were not able to do any of the suggested experiments. We did follow the progress of the monarchs in space and enjoyed the video clips which led to some valuable discussions. One of the issues brought up by the students was the use of animals in experiments. The one caterpillar that pupated did so in December and emerged during our December break when no one was there to care for it. The adult female did not survive until we returned.
153Jan 11, 2010 1:28 PMMy biggest conncern was my inability to view anything from space. The elementary school that I teach in has filter systems for the internet. We are unable to vies facebook, YouTube, or any photo/video share sites. So we were unable to view any pictures or video from space, which was the main reason I decided to participate. I realize that this was a problem at my end, not yours.
154Jan 11, 2010 4:21 PMThis was a very educational experience for my students and for our staff. From watching the shuttle launch, to this final adult stage, it has been an amazing journey. Our only living adult is still alive and we have decided "he" is a "grandpa" butterfly, as "he" is about a month old!
155Jan 11, 2010 4:33 PMI thought your materials were excellent. One of the main issues for us was that it came up too fast. We were already in the middle of other lessons that still needed to go on. Most importantly, I didn't have enough time to properly buy or find an appropriate light plus a timer that we needed to maintain the right heat and light. Our guess is that our caterpillars got too cold. The room temperature wasn't too bad during the day but there weren't enough hours of sunlight. It was hard to thoroughly teach this lesson with so little warning so we didn't really utilize your good information and suggestions for study. I will keep the materials and use them at a later date--in the fall when we normally track the monarch migration. Thanks for your efforts--we especially enjoyed the videos, photos, and updates on the websites, so all was not lost!
156Jan 11, 2010 5:12 PMThanks. Wonderful project.
157Jan 11, 2010 5:41 PM 3 OF OUR MONARCHS ARE STILL LIVING!!!! AS OF JAN. 11. 2 males and 1 female have expired. Two Monarchs mated Jan. 2, and the male died Jan. 4. I kept some of the milkweed food and hoped that the female laid eggs on it. She was crawling around on it. THANK YOU!!!! THANK YOU!!!! THANK YOU!!!! I ADORE this project! I am the science lab teacher, so at my school, 550 kids got to participate in the experiment. I see the kids only once per week, but I sent out photos daily. (grades 3-6) My situation is unique, so if I had more larvae, more classes could do the experiment in their homerooms. However 6 should be adequate for most classes. I checked "more are needed" above, for this reason. I kept 3 in the lab at about 72 degrees, and the sixth grade teacher kept 3 in his room at about 69 degrees. The ones in lower temp developed more slowly. We combined them after they emerged, but I wonder if the 3 that are still alive were the 3 reared in the lower temperature,
158Jan 11, 2010 10:03 PMI did enjoy doing this, but as I had never done something like this before I was a little unprepared for the amount of time/work that was involved. I took the caterpillars home for the Thanksgiving break as our school shuts down the heat in order to save energy and I needed to tend to them as well. I also had to take the adult butterflies home over Christmas break for the same reasons.
159Jan 12, 2010 2:19 AMMy students learned a lot about the space program, terminology and procedures. They enjoyed monitoring the caterpillars and their progress. They were very concerned about the monarchs future. They wanted to ship them to a warmer climate for a longer life.
160Jan 12, 2010 4:25 AMMy kindergarten class and I absolutely loved this project. Having raised/released Monarchs in September with Monarch Watch's tagging program and having participated in Journey South with the symbolic migration, my kindergartners were very excited about having caterpillars in the classroom again. Following the journey of the space-cats to the space station with the crew of the STS-129, my kindergartners were challenged to think well beyond the backyard milkweed meadow (which is an official Monarch Waystation!) and through the parallel experiment with the crew of the ISS rasising the monarchs, the Monarchs In Space project video and photos, and the updates from Monarchs In Space website and the NASA website, the kindergartners were immersed in content I've never before translated into kindergarten curriculum. From one day to the next, I couldn't completely anticipate all that would be observed-or created-or imagined by my students. While I could comment on various elements of curricular learning (and indeed, the project as it unfolded in our classroom exceeded my expectations for curricular learning across multiple intelligences), I was deeply moved as an educator by the degree of mindfulness demonstrated by my kindergartners as they actively engaged with the project. The wonder of caterpillar, chrysalis, and butterfly became more than an invitation to observe, inquire, and derive knowledge in our classroom; it became our way of being together to learn. In that context, I believe, anything is possible on this planet. Whether it was for the sense of adventure created in the classroom shuttle and space station, outfitted with with kitchen utensils as space tools, 3-D glasses, and keypads and remote controls that could do anything you could imagine with a push of a button (if you were, of course, adequately tethered to the space shuttle on your space walk!), the sense of peace a child felt when holding the delicate beauty of a young butterfly for the very first time, or everything that happened in between, this was a project not to be missed. With heartfelt gratitude to all,
161Jan 12, 2010 9:07 PM We did not have success, partially due to what I believe was lack of humidity and inability to control temp well in classroom 24/7. I facilitated as outsider coming in, so when discovered problems, added moist paper towel to bottom of enclosure, which helped some for keeping food and cats from "cooking". Brought them to my house over holidays. The 2 butterflies that emerged were "stuck" in chrysalis (which had gray coloration when empty), seemed weak and the wings did not expand. One butterfly did live a couple days with shriveled wings and drinking Gatorade, but legs were not normal on either one (weak, could not hang on to netting). Idea....this summer I taped a "4 in 1" simultaneous experience...cat hanging J, cat starting pupation, cat ending pupation, and monarch emerging all at in the same container at the same time! I taped, edited, and my son added music for me. The people who have seen it have raved. It is only about 4.5 min because we sped it up. Do you think there is a niche where I can make a little money on this toward a trip to El Rosario (my #1 bucket list item) and share some profit with Monarch Watch, too? I thought about sharing for free on YouTube, but I am struggling financially right now and hoped you might have some suggestions. Possibly including it on DVD in the kits would be a way the kids could see what is supposed to happen in a kid-friendly video. I thought I would use it with my monarch talks at Lake Erie Nature and Science Center this summer. I am part-time staff there now. Maybe you can pass this by Chip... he and I did a video iChat a few years ago with St. Raphael school, so in a cyber sort of way, he knows me. Thanks! And thanks for the whole Monarchs in Space experience. We are a boys school within the Cleveland city limits, so most of these boys don't get much chance to experience nature...they enjoyed it very much. We were only able to take time for one visit to peak in on the online life of the space monarchs, but that was a learning experience as well. We all found the whole thing very interesting and worthwhile. Thanks!
162Jan 12, 2010 10:03 PMGreat experiment! Thank you for letting us participate. We were so excited to see the butterflies!!!
163Jan 14, 2010 3:10 AMMy two classes of third and fourth graders enjoyed this experiment very much. We had raised Monarchs last fall, so the children were familiar with taking care of them. Of course, it is always exciting to see the Monarchs go through their life cycle. Your program added the exciting dimension of an experiment, especially an experiment in space and in conjunction with NASA. It provided an avenue through which we could discuss experimental design, gravity, living in space, the space program. We also did quite a bit of writing about the project. Having raised Monarchs for the past twenty years, I really liked the food that you developed. I liked that it stayed in its container instead of falling out. It was fun to read other schools' web sites, too. My students felt connected to a larger project, which was a good thing. We have one butterfly left, so "Snowflake" has become our class pet. Pretty amazing to me! So, thanks for this opportunity.
164Jan 14, 2010 5:50 PMDue to conditions outside my control, the temperature could not be kept warm enough so we lost all the caterpillars. This project was phenomenal as far as increasing interest related to experiments on the ISS. It did raise excellent question related to ethical issues surrounding experimenting with living creatures. Thanks so much for providing us with this opportunity. As for the kits, we raise our own milkweed and prefer to collect eggs and cats in season, so we wouldn't be interested in purchasing the kits. Thanks!
165Jan 14, 2010 7:18 PMThis experiment was so exciting! The students enjoyed comparing our caterpillars to the ones in space. Thank you!
166Jan 14, 2010 9:04 PMWe released our butterflies into the greenhouse with our blooming flowers. The came out during the day and they just flapped their wings and walked around on the arms of our students -- a day they will NEVER forget.
167Jan 14, 2010 9:35 PMMy Students loved this project! Many had never seen a shuttle launch and they were so excited to be part of this mission. I had some difficulty with some of the photo gallery because there were to many pictures. Something more simple for my age group would be preferred because of time restraints. They loved watching the monarchs flloating in space. We did your assembly performance about the project to our school. It was well received. Thank you for the opportunity. Two of our butterflies are still alive. They are six weeks old.
168Jan 14, 2010 10:57 PMWe separated our larva into two different habitats. Our control habitat was made from a plastic container (as per directions) and contained the artificial food. The other habitat was a screened cage used for rearing butterflies and contained a fresh supply of leaves from the butterfly weed plant (Asclepias tuberosa). Only two of the larva in the control habitat pupated, and none survived to become adults. All three larva in the other habitat pupated and become adults. This discrepancy provided material for lots of interesting discussions in class! After keeping the butterflies indoors for a week, we released them in our campus butterfly garden. We appreciate being given the opportunity to participate in the program. It was a great learning experience and the students enjoyed it tremendously. They could hardly wait until Science time each day to "check on the butterflies." In addition to studying the life cycle of monarchs, it provided opportunities for journaling and collecting data on daily measurements of the larva and temperature. I appreciated the opportunity to access the photos, film clips and notes on the development of the larva in space and compare them to our own in the classroom. Thanks again!
169Jan 14, 2010 11:35 PMI was extremely impressed by some of the participants' websites and blogs. I wish I had had the "know how" to have documented our learning in that way.
170Jan 15, 2010 8:23 AMWe have raised many monarchs in our classroom before that I have brought in from my yard. I had a lower success rate with these. Less than half of the caterpillars made it to the chrystalis stage and then some of them were not completed. We even had some butterflies not survive coming out. The monarchs in space videos were wonderful. We had a lot of technical difficulties with our technology during this time so we did not get to do nearly as much with that part as I would have liked to do.
171Jan 15, 2010 5:08 PMGeorgetown Jr/Sr High School and our elementary school are collocated with an extensive primitive, outdoor classroom, 50 acres. One aspect of the outdoor classroom is our Monarch Waystation, which we are in the process of improving. The Monarch in Space experience created a great deal of interest, for students and for our community. We will conduct another Monarch experiment, probably in May of this year, which would better facilitate the survival of released monarchs. We wish to further engaged students with the full life cycle of the monarch, including breeding, egg laying, etc, & requires reseeding the milkweed beds.
172Jan 15, 2010 7:20 PMWe have one butterfly still alive that just hatched on Christmas eve. This is the one that had escaped in mailing and we found it to be about one tenth the size of the other caterpillars. Also the first butterfly that hatched was extremely aggressive toward the next butterfly that hatch and tried to keep it from handing to dry its wings. Our first butterflies hatched on a very snowy day. The smaller children were just amazed and stopped by the viewing window many times a day to see the progress. I was also able to capture on video one of the butterflies hatching.
173Jan 15, 2010 10:26 PMWe did have fun with our monarchs. All of the space caterpillars died, however we compared them with native Monarch caterpillars we had right here in Texas, and all of our "natives" lived. They were raised on milkweed. The natives made it to adulthood and were released outside. We kept our adult butterflies in a netting cage I made, and fed them gatorade. They loved it.
174Jan 15, 2010 11:39 PMI was surprised by the number of young caterpillars that died without warning. Four out of six seems like an unusually high number if they were actually healthy when we received them. We did not receive our caterpillars until after Thanksgiving because of some office oversight. Because they arrived late (after the shuttle had already landed and the caterpillars aboard the space station had died), the amount of time our students were able to observe them was limited. (Their growth and development ran into our Christmas vacation.) I took the chrysalises home for the holiday where the two butterflies that emerged "ate and slept" under normal household conditions.
175Jan 16, 2010 12:51 AMWe had a few obstacles throughout this project. We ran out of diet food as the teacher was away at a conference for several days. The students gave too much of the food and it dried out. So over Thanksgiving vacation, the teacher took the caterpillars home with her and ran out of food. Thanks to Monarch Watch, food was sent overnight after vacation. Then we had two snow days (prior to a weekend) where school was closed and the teacher could not get in to care for them. So, again, they were without food for four days. Overall, it was a wonderful experience!
176Jan 16, 2010 2:50 AMI used pill dividers with covers closed on two. When one compartment was almost finished, I opened the second one to compliment the first,then the third. As they grew more was added. Only one cat seem to always be hungry, it would be attempting to J, but would return for food. There was an abundance of webbing and the cats attempting J formation, interfere with the cats in the J stage. Cramped condition was becoming a problem, some were forming pupue on the side of container and became flat on that side. There was sanitary problems - a very sticky situation. Q-Tip were used to attempt removal of waste in food. Five cats had formed J form or in pupae stages,except the hungry procrastinator - it ended up dying. Soon all was quite - a break for us all. Then on Dec 16th the first one emerged it fell tangled in web its wings messed up. So I moved remaining pupae with floss and hung them in a bigger container. One cat never emerged, 2 cat formed pupae with an open crack. (1 partially emerged and the other was fine till it fell on wet wings.) They both lived about a week in a box and sucked on cotton balls dipped in juice. Then there were two beautiful monarchs a male and female. They both ate perched on a wash cloth hung on the patio window, then about a week later the female to flight in the house became lost and disappeared, as the male did on Jan 7th. We joke about the male being two years old. He emerged in 2009 and its assumed dead in the year 2010.
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