Mrs. Cochrane and her Crestview Public School Grade 6 French Immersion science class participated in a really ‘fly’ nation-wide science experiment – the School Malaise Trap Program (SMTP), in partnership with the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario at the University of Guelph (UofG). Chosen to be one of 64 schools in Canada to participate, the class was eager to share their findings and experience.

As part of the project, SMTP provided the class with a special bug trap tent, equipped with a collection bottle and insect solution, and the tools needed to properly record their findings.

During the two week experiment, Mrs. Cochrane’s students instantly started seeing the various species of insects that live around their school property. Each day, they had to document certain information so that the researchers at UofG could understand why certain insects were attracted to that location; report data would include factors like: temperature, weather conditions, litter, etc. In addition to the daily reporting for the University, the class documented their experience through SMTP blog postings and Twitter updates so other students, staff and schools could learn along with them.

Not only did the experiment provide real-world learning, and field-research experience, it also taught the students responsibility and team work. Each day before school started, students would voluntarily go and check on the tent. Unfortunately, there were a few times litter and vandalism were apparent, but the students quickly teamed up together to fix the problems when they arose.

The class was very passionate about their activity and their results. The insect samples and data they collected during their experiment will have a direct impact on University research; their experiment findings will contribute to published results. Way to go!

We’d also like to congratulate the Mrs. Cochrane’s class for winning the #SMTPSelfie contest. They will receive a LifeScanner Kit which will allow the students to DNA barcode four organisms for their choice and find out what species they are – how cool!


Group shot of Mrs. Cochrane's Grade 6 class with their Malaise Trap!

Group shot of Mrs. Cochrane’s Grade 6 class with their Malaise Trap!