We’ll be teaching community members accurate information about mosquitoes.
Participants in our M is for Mosquitoes and Me summer camp learned about mosquitoes, engaged in real scientific research, and shared what they learned with their neighbors through writing, art, and movement.
The first Mosquitoes and Me summer camp was held in July, 2016. Iowa State University School of Education professors, Katherine Richardson Bruna and Gale Seiler, and Lyric Bartholomay, an entomologist from the University of Wisconsin, were all on site in a classroom at North High School in Des Moines for two weeks of ambitious science discovery with 20 5th-7th graders from the Moulton Elementary neighborhood.
During the first week of the camp, students were put to work asking and attempting to answer the big questions of how and why mosquitoes buzz and bite. In the process, they learned about a mosquito's anatomy and life cycle. They started week two with a canoe trip during which they gathered water samples to examine for mosquito larvae. They also took water samples from around their homes.
Based on their mosquito knowledge, they designed, built, tested, and revised their own mosquito traps and compared their yields to those of real traps used by the Centers for Disease Control. Some students' traps beat or outdid the CDC traps!
At the camp's conclusion, students reexamined their attitudes about mosquitoes, learned about the role that mosquitoes play in the larger ecosystem, and planned for mosquito prevention in their own backyards. They had some great ideas to reduce the mosquito population! They shared what they learned during a Family Celebration on the last day of camp.
In addition to the ISU 4U Promise students, a Moulton teacher, an ISU student teacher supervisor, five ISU elementary education majors, a public health graduate student, and educators from Children and Family Urban Movement also took part in the camp, which will be offered again next summer.
The local press even came to visit the camp. Check out their coverage.