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Sophomore Living Environment Student Sarah Newman (left) acts as a "launch pad" during the ceremonial monarch butterfly release celebrating Hammondsport School's new butterfly garden.

HCS Participates in Butterfly Beltway Project

HAMMONDSPORT—Hammondsport Central School in collaboration with the Seneca Park Zoo kicked-off a project entitled the Butterfly Beltway Project on June 14.  The project centers around the establishment and maintenance of a butterfly garden that was constructed by HCS Science Teacher Kim Brucz and her Living Environment students.  Upon completion of the garden, a ceremonial release of monarchs was held at the garden site where Seneca Park Zoo conservation educators were on hand to speak about the life cycle and migration of the monarch butterfly.
Established in 2002, the Butterfly Beltway Project is rooted in researching, exploring and understanding the interplay among scientific concepts by enabling students to directly interact with their social and physical environments.  "There is an enormous range of present and future opportunities the garden provides the HCS community," said Ms Brucz.  "Not only will the butterfly garden be used to explore ecological concepts, but it will serve as an entry point into authentic research that requires students to develop and practice scientific skills and processes," she continued.   As an example, current and future students will carry out field studies on the monarch butterfly where they will learn proper tagging techniques and how to collect  data pertaining to sex determination, wing wear, wing damage and infection.  Not only will students become familiar with the biological diversity associated with Keuka Lake, but they will also have the opportunity to collaborate with local and national organizations and communicate their findings at a global level.  "My hope is that science will be accessible and relevant to each student regardless of their dispositions by giving them as many opportunities as possible to investigate their environment," concluded Brucz.
Funding for the garden, which is located in the HCS courtyard, was provided by the Knowles Science Teaching Foundation Grant.




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