We’re particularly looking for regional and remote schools across Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia. The insect biodiversity of regional Australia is just waiting to be discovered! Please apply by the 15 October 2021.
What would be involved for participating teachers and students?
Schools would be required to:
Set-up and monitor a Malaise trap on their school grounds during a project-defined four weeks in Term 1 2022 (if you have an area of native vegetation, for example like in the images below) or nearby nature site – we can possibly help you partner with a local landcare group if you don’t have a suitable place to put the trap up on school grounds. (here’s how you’d set up the trap).
Change the collection bottle on the trap weekly, for four consecutive weeks during Term 1 2022.
Measure simple weather variables (daily) during the sampling period, and environmental variables describing their sampling site (once).
Send the collected insects to South Australia (all postage and packaging supplied, tutorials on packaging correctly will be provided).
Communicate updates and results of the project to students
(Estimated time to complete these tasks is 5 -7 hours in total)
Throughout the lifetime of the project, schools will receive:
Regular updates on the insects’ journeys through the taxonomic process (sorting, DNA sequencing in Canada, establishment of phylogenetic relationships, naming of insects)
In-person/online visits by project team members and insect taxonomists
Access to the “Insect Investigators” homepage, virtual tours of insect laboratories and collections, and Australian curriculum aligned teacher support materials.
Networking opportunities to compare insect collections with other schools and share your discoveries. In total, fifty schools throughout Australia will take part from Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia.
Data on the diversity of insects present in the trap samples.
The lucky schools where a new species is discovered will have the opportunity to name a new species of insect! Naming will be in collaboration with taxonomists as there are certain rules which need to be followed.
During the project, teachers and students will be invited to participate in project evaluation.
When would it start?
Insect trapping will start in mid-February, Term 1 2022 and finish in March, before the end of Term 1. Teacher and school commitment to the project is needed by the end of October 2021 in order to meet planning requirements of the project.
What if I’m interested in taking part but I’m not in Queensland, South Australia or Western Australia?
You can still fill out the expression of interest form below – we’ll keep everyone on the newsletter list so that you can find out about future iterations of the project, and you can still use all of the resources and complementary activities we design as part of Insect Investigators!
Are you a teacher at a regional school in SA, Qld or WA and want Insect Investigators at your school in 2022? Apply below by 22 October 2021.