The Monarchs in the Classroom Insect Fair (formerly called the "Monarch Fair") is based on a Science Fair model, with many of the projects centered on monarch butterflies and their habitat. Each year the Insect Fair is held during the first week of December at Coffman Memorial Union on the Minneapolis campus of the University of Minnesota. The Insect Fair encourages students to engage in all steps of the research process, including the important final step of data presentation.
Who is Eligible?
Students working individually, in small groups, or as whole classes can submit projects. Home-schooled students or children working with their parents or other adults during the summer can (and are encouraged to!) submit projects.
What kinds of Projects are Eligible?
Eligible student research includes indoor (classroom or home) and outdoor projects. The projects can be experiments in which students manipulate variables, or observational studies. Both kinds of studies are important and interesting. For example, if students wanted to study if monarch larvae grow better on swamp milkweed or common milkweed, they would need to do a controlled experiment in which one group of larvae received swamp milkweed and another received common milkweed. If they wanted to study how much weight larvae gain per day, they could simply weigh larvae every day. If your class is raising monarch larvae or tagging wild monarchs, there are lots of potential research questions that they could investigate.
Please visit the Monarch Lab website (http://www.monarchlab.org/mitc/InsectFair/Default.aspx) to learn more about the annual Insect Fair. Special thanks to the Medtronic Foundation for their generous support of the Insect Fair!