Bugs In Our Backyard is an educational outreach and collaborative research program, providing project-based learning opportunities for K-12 students-- or anyone! The core activity for Bugs In Our Backyard takes advantage of the bugs in your own backyard, schoolyard or neighborhood. Students become citizen-scientists by surveying this diversity of insects and plants. How much insect diversity can you find? How does insect diversity vary over time? How does insect diversity vary across geographic and urban scales? These are some of the questions that can be asked. The survey targets are “true bugs” (what entomologists call Heteroptera) in the eastern US, but activities are designed to be open-ended. Everyone is welcome to get involved. Let’s expand what we know about about insect diversity across rural and urban landscapes!
BioB is part of an NSF-funded research program at Colby College, which will also provide students with insight into the practice of science. Our goal is to engage students with biology by making them citizen scientists. Get involved in ecological surveys of local bugs and their host plants! Produce data to contribute to a growing community database. Connect to the biological diversity in your own backyard!
A series of modular activities on different life science topics, such as biodiversity, growth and development, invasive species, genetics, insects, evolution, urban ecology and statistical analysis, are also being produced. These modules can be scaled to the needs of different classes and grade-levels or used over multiple grade-levels. For older students, survey data are available to be used in hypothesis-testing or exploratory analyses. Teachers are encouraged to modify the activities to their own needs and share success stories.