Ann Arbor – All eyes were on the Monarch butterflies as Sue Addy’s fifth graders observed them one last time before releasing them into the wild.
Named Danaus plexippus, meaning “sleepy transformation” in Greek, the Monarchs have changed from caterpillar to chrysalis to adult under the watchful study of the class.
The students are a part of Monarch Watch, a hands-on project spearheaded by the University of Kansas Entomology Program. They tag each butterfly’s hindwing with an encrypted message on a tiny sticker and send data to Monarch Watch. Monarch migration is tracked on a scaled map in the classroom.
Monarchs migrate to Mexico, a journey of almost 2,000 miles. These particular winged beauties carry the best wishes of Emerson’s fifth graders