Outreach & Collaborations
In order to share our research results and to educate the local children and adults on butterfly flight, we offer educational programs that can either be held in classrooms or in our lab. We will also be participating in several educational programs on the Monarch butterflies held annually in the southeast.
Furthermore, we collaborate with the Huntsville Botanical Garden on a broad outreach program. Our research on the flight of butterflies will be highlighted in a display in the Purdy Butterfly House located in the garden. The Purdy Butterfly House is the largest open-aired butterfly house in the nation, hosting 2,300 butterflies in 2015. Huntsville Botanical Garden has a certified Monarch Waystation consisting of butterfly host and nectar plants that are necessary for migrating Monarchs. In 2013, more than 225,000 people visited the garden. You can find more information about Huntsville Botanical garden and the Purdy Butterfly House by clicking the link: HSVBG Website
Monarch Madness is a collaboration with a local elementary grade educator that uses a novel cross-curriculum approach to present and teach STEM concepts to fifth graders in a rural community school with limited financial and human resources for such activities. The curriculum explores the amazing flight and navigational capabilities of Monarchs and biomimicry as a basis for motivating STEM learning. The effectiveness of this approach is confirmed by initial responses from students and parents that indicate an increased interest in engineering as a career choice (Benson et al. 2017). Encouraging students to pursue STEM careers, especially motivating students in underrepresented populations, is critical to our nation’s technological and economic future.
Mars Madness is derived from the success of Monarch Madness. Multiple curricular components such as language arts, mathematics, and science are integrated around the Mars exploration. Applying the scientific method and engineering design process to familiar, everyday situations along with concepts such as biomimicry and Mars exploration are used to excite kids from underrepresented populations in Northern Alabama about STEM careers. Initial audience are the eighth-grade students from a local Title I school.
If you are interested in our research outreach program, please let us know by sending an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Kang, Misty Hertzig, Soozi Pline, Brittany Greene, Madhu Sridhar, and Dr. Landrum. Presenting the outreach poster displayed in the Huntsville Botanical Garden Nature Center. April 2016.
Presentation on butterflies at professional advancement class for second grade teachers hosted at the Huntsville Botanical Garden, June 2016.
Dr. Landrum presenting at the Huntsville Botanical Garden, June 2016.