Mount Vernon Elementary School is crawling with “Bugs in the Classroom”

Mount Vernon, ME – Mount Vernon Elementary School students will be getting their toes wet on Friday, June 5th, as part of a three part series offered through a partnership between Ecological Instincts and the Maine Lakes Society to teach students about the relationship between clean streams and lakes and a healthy aquatic macroinvertebrate community. The three part series began with a classroom visit on May 8th to teach the students about watersheds, ways to prevent pollution from entering our lakes and streams, and how scientists use bug data to determine if our streams are healthy.

The children from Deborah Dubord’s second grade class built “bug samplers” with help from older students. The samplers were deployed at three locations in Minnehonk Lake and two nearby streams. The samplers provide shelter for aquatic critters to inhabit over the next three weeks. On the morning of June 5th, the students will spend the morning documenting different habitat types, collecting their bug samplers, participating in a Remote Operating Vehicle (ROV) demo on the bottom of Minnehonk Lake, and learning how to take water clarity measurements, before heading back to the classroom to sort and classify the macronvertebrates in their samplers.

Students will have a chance to tally their results to determine if there are differences in the bug communities among the different sites in the watershed, chart their findings on a class poster, and make their own “bugs” as part of a fly tying activity during the third and final classroom visit.

Interested students will have the opportunity to present their work at the Maine Lakes Conference and Lake Celebration at Camp O-At-Ka on Sebago Lake on August 22, 2015 to an audience of more than 100 lake stewards from around the state. The celebration includes lake activities such as learning to fish, boater safety, paddle boarding lessons and trips on the Melinda Ann- the Maine Lakes floating classroom. All are invited to attend the Bugs in the Classroom presentation at Camp O-at-Ka on Saturday, August 22, 2015 from 9-3pm. For more information visit the Maine Lakes website: http://mainelakessociety.org/conference-2015/, or contact Jennifer Jespersen at jen@ecoinstincts.com.

The “Bugs in the Classroom” project is sponsored in part by a generous grant from the Flying Pond Improvement Association and the Mount Vernon PTC with technical support provided by Ecological Instincts and the Maine Lakes Society.

Mt_Vernon_6515_low_res_cpdaigle0253