Drew Central High School aids scientific discovery and teaches lessons on scientific method using Monarch Watch.
Dennis Thurman teaches his students with hands-on experience. Students watch monarch butterflies emerge from their water-filled cocoons right inside their classroom, and they help build monarch shelters and plant milkweed, the primary food source for monarchs.
"The tests that we have give students, from No Child Left Behind, do much to hinder our students education," Thurman said. "It seems like we always get caught up trying to cram for those tests, but this is where the real learning happens."Before entering class, students see the life-cycle of monarchs on the wall of the hallway. Looking inside, students then see that life-cycle being played out on different incubation areas. Thurman's classroom comes equipped with hatching areas built by students and him.
Outside of the classroom Thurman leads a group of students and other teachers in gathering materials and volunteer workers to expand their existing greenhouse and make room for more monarch breeding.
"The community and volunteer workers that donate time and material are the people that really make this come together," Thurman said. "Without them we would not have the facilities that we do."
Thurman does not stop his efforts at the high school level. Thurman donates monarchs in different stages in their life-cycle to the elementary school for students to observe.
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ŠThe Voice 2007
Revised 09/17/2007 08:12:03 PM — http://www.uamont.edu/Organizations/TheVoice/5_12/monarchb.htm