Local

Kids can learn about biodiversity and butterflies this summer

4-H Teen Science Ambassadors lead ‘Monarchs on the Move’ program

Local students will use their critical thinking skills to take part in solving a real-world science challenge through the 2018 4-H Ag Innovators Experience “Monarchs on the Move.”

“Youth will be challenged to learn how increasing the habitat for the monarch butterfly benefits the environment and agriculture,” said Donna Nuger, 4-H youth development educator with University of Illinois Extension of DuPage, Kane and Kendall counties. “We want our young audiences to learn why the monarch butterfly is a flagship species representing many pollinators that contribute to our food supply and the health of our planet.”

Through hands-on learning, participants will get to know the life stages of a monarch butterfly and the difficulties of survival as a monarch caterpillar. Older students also will evaluate a landscape to identify opportunities to increase biodiversity.

Led by trained 4-H Teen Science Ambassadors and 4-H Youth Development staff, the “Monarchs on the Move” Challenge will help youth:

• Learn about the unique lifecycle of butterflies.

• Understand the challenges that impact the Monarch butterfly declining population.

• Understand the collaborative effort required to sustain monarch populations.

• Explore ways to increase monarch habitat and receive a free milkweed starter kit (while supplies last).

“They will leave with a better understanding of entomology and the environment, and knowing how they can help,” Nuger added.

The lesson will be available at a free workshop on June 13 in Yorkville and over the next few months through multiple tri-county partners, including East Aurora School District 131, Oswegoland Park District, School District 180, St. Charles Park District, and York Community Resource Center.

To register for the June 13 event, or to learn more about summer workshops with 4-H, visit go.illinois.edu/summer4Hdkk. To partner with 4-H for a “Monarchs on the Move” program, contact Nuger at dnuger@illinois.edu or 630-584-6166.

“Monarchs on the Move” is part of the 4-H Ag Innovators Experience program. It is presented by National 4-H Council and Monsanto to help develop critical workforce skills in young people and show that agriculture can be relevant and fun. Students in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska will have the opportunity to participate in the “Monarchs on the Move” Challenge throughout the spring and summer of 2018.

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