Students from Pacific Union College (PUC) recently visited Howell Mountain Elementary School (HME), a local public school, to teach second and third grade students all about monarch butterflies and to get them hands-on in the learning process!
The students discussed the life cycle of the monarch butterfly, including the importance of milkweed as nutrition and as a habitat crucial for monarch reproduction.
“The HME project was a great opportunity for these college students to connect with the elementary kids,” said Professor Aimee Wyrick, chair of PUC’s department of biology. “It reminds them of the amazing curiosity that kids have about the world around them – gives college students an additional excitement or “spark” when they see the schoolkids enjoying the experience. The PUC students were also impressed with the HME elementary students – they were very engaged in asking/answering questions. College students also get a chance to practice their interpersonal and leadership skills – directing the session and interacting with each other and a wide range of students.”
The kids were enthusiastic learners and the PUC students on hand were happy to answer question after question. One item that got a lot of attention was the fact that milkweed is poisonous to animals like cows and even crops so it’s important to plant it in places where it can sustain monarchs but still be safe.