AMES, Iowa – The 4-H Ag Innovators Experience “Monarchs on the Move” challenge tour is underway in Iowa, and geared up to hit more than 70 events throughout the remainder of the spring and summer. So far, the tour has stopped in nine locations for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics field days and events, with many more to come.
The Monarchs on the Move challenge is the result of a collaboration between the National 4-H Council and Monsanto to create the 2018 4-H Ag Innovators Experience. Youth interact with live monarch eggs, caterpillars, butterflies and chrysalises from the USDA monarch colony at Iowa State University during the experience. The Iowa State University Integrated Pest Management program and ISU Extension and Outreach assist in carrying out all programs around the state.
At each event, students and children learn about monarch butterflies and the importance of pollinators in crop and food production. Students also participate in discussions and activities with the intentions of learning about preserving the monarch population and increasing biodiversity in general.
Youth work together to simulate and understand the life stages of a monarch butterfly, and the difficulties of survival as a caterpillar. Students and children learn to evaluate a satellite landscape image to identify opportunities to increase biodiversity, and make recommendations for improvement while ensuring productive crop fields. As part of the 4-H Ag Innovators Experience, event-area teens assist ISU Extension and Outreach coordinators in teaching youth.
The purpose of the Monarchs on the Move challenge is to help develop critical workforce skills in young people, to show that agriculture can be relevant and fun, and to teach about the importance of biodiversity. Students and children 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 as part of the 4-H Ag Innovators Experience.
To see if Monarchs on the Move will be visiting an area near you, please visit facebook.com/lovethemonarch and view the “events” listing.
[PHOTO] Students interact with a monarch caterpillar as part of the learning activity. All children and students will be given opportunities to experience hands-on learning through interacting with live monarch butterflies, caterpillars and eggs from the USDA monarch conservatory at Iowa State University.