This week our class explored the world of ecology with a focus on plants and insects. Students learned the basic biology of both groups of organisms as well as explored the diversity that occurs in our environment. We started off the week by learning about the criteria that classifies an organism as an insect. Students used that knowledge to create their own insects out of food. They determined their insect’s life cycle and diet. We also played games that demonstrated complex food webs that occur in the insect world. The students did science experiments as well, such as creating aquatic insects that can skate on top of the water and not sink. Students also had the opportunity to visit the UH Insect Museum to see the diversity of insects in Hawaii and the world as well as how entomologists create insect collections. They were then able to collect and preserve their own insects to make their very own insect collections!! Finally, students got to cook with insects and see how they can be used as an alternate source of protein. The students really enjoyed learning about the world of insects.
But this week wasn’t only about insects! Students also learned about the complexity of the plant kingdom. They explored the indigenous, endemic, and canoe plants in Hawaii as well as some of the tropical fruits that are commonly associated with the islands. They got to grow their own vegetables as well as learn basic gardening skills so that one day they can grow their own food. We had the opportunity to visit Lyon Arboretum and see the diversity of plants that can be found in Hawaii. The students had lots of fun this week expanding their knowledge of ecology through fun field trips and activities.