Bugs and Butterflies

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Bugs and Butterflies
Science Course
Course CodeBUGS
Years of Operation1998-1999
Sites OfferedALX, OMS, SAN
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Course Description

From the CTY Course Catalog (1999):

Insects are the most abundant life form on this planet, with more varieties of insects than mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and birds combined. Across cultures, people alternately squirm at the thought of insects, use them to earn their livelihoods, and rely on them as a nutritionally rich source of food. In this course, students explore the place of insects in our environment. They learn about insects from all parts of the world, from bugs in the backyard to exotic and endangered species.

As budding entomologists, students collect live specimens to identify, classify, and observe. They supplement their carefully recorded observations with readings, videos, and field trips to local beekeepers, zoos, or insect exhibits. Students observe bu tterflies to witness their metamorphosis from caterpillars to a mature form of insect. Through these experiences, students discover firsthand the structures, locomotive functions, internal anatomy, development, and behavior of a variety of insects, payin g special attention to the adaptations of different species.

Once students understand these insects inside and out, they discuss how insects interact with each other, looking at the social structure of bees or ants, and how insects interact with their ecological systems, looking at insects as pollinators, food prod ucers, crop destroyers, and disease carriers. Through their explorations in the course, students gain a greater appreciation of the complexity of the insect world and its importance to our everyday life.