Spring time is coming! OMG, I have butterflies. No, not the kind that you get in your stomach when you are nervous or “in love.” I have, or shall I say had, butterflies for approximately 14 days. If you are looking for a fun STEM activity that will definitely foster the learning process, get butterflies.
When my son started watching caterpillar videos, his Grandma decided to get a butterfly garden for him. I am a lover of all things science, so an opportunity to observe the transformation first hand excited me. During the holidays Grandma found InsectLore.com butterfly growing kit. The kit came with all the things needed for butterflies to grow and survive.
The kit arrived with 20 caterpillars. There were 5 caterpillars per cup with nutrients needed for them to grow. They grew for about 7-10 days and then formed their chrysalides. After another 7-10 days they began to emerge. One new thing I learned during this experience is that as they emerge, the expell meconium, which is a red liquid. We mixed sugar and water to create food for the butterflies to feed on. We successfully grew 15 butterflies that will pollinate and reproduce. This cycle will hopefully continue and maybe we will continue to see “Painted Lady Butterflies” throughout the years.
Thankfully, Phoenix’s warm winter weather provided us with a perfect opportunity to release our temporary pets this past December. My two year old twins were equally as elated. They were all hands on deck. The kids were able to hold the “Painted Ladies” before they flew off to their new homes. I relished in the moment to watch my kids enthralled with science and nature. The best part of the entire process was my son teaching us what he learned.
As we march into spring, I would like to highlight Women’s History and Expanding Girls’ Horizons in Science & Engineering Month. Giving young girls the opportunity to see women in the fields of science, engineering, technology and math is important to me. Allowing my girls to participate in science is one way I can ensure exposure at a young age.
When I was younger I loved math and science. I was always told that I could be anything I wanted. I heard often that I would be a doctor. I remember mixing powder, perfume, and whatever else I could find. I was making a one of a kind fragrance. I do not remember the smell nor what it looked like. I do remember the support I received and the encouragement to keep up the good work. Little ways to promote science, technology, math and science to young girls will hopefully bridge the gap and increase women’s presence in those fields.
Marching into springtime with STEM activities for kids of all ages in Phoenix