Category Archives: Fall 2015

Celebrate Citizen Science!

Tomorrow is National Citizen Science Day (April 16th) and we want to extend a huge thank you to the nearly 15,000 students and educators who have contributed to making the School Malaise Trap Program such a success!

Here are your impressive results so far:

Participating Schools: 307

Participating Classrooms: 445

Participating Students: 12,058

Comparison Sites: 30

Total Organisms Collected: 322,114

DNA Barcodes: 80,818

Species collected: 8,119

New to BOLD: 1,288

For detailed program results, please click here!

Congratulations #bioSMTP participants!

Announcing the Fall 2015 #SMTPselfie Winners!

We are pleased to announce the winners of our Fall 2015 #SMTPselfie contest!
Thank you to all who entered, we had some great entries this program! The winners for the #SMTPselfie contest will receive a Life Scanner Kit  which will essentially allow them to DNA barcode 4 organisms of their choice and find out what species they are!
Currently these kits are being offered for free for first time users + shipping online at the above mentioned link, so be sure to sign your class up for one!
And without further ado…the winners of the Fall 2015 #SMTPselfie contest are:
1) Brooksbank Elementary School – BC
2) Preeceville School – SK
3) Crestview Public School – ON
4) New Horizons School – AB
New Horizons
5) The York School – ON
The York School
Congratulations to all!

Disappointing? Maybe, maybe not…

I’ve been bragging about how great the fall fields are here at the Blair Outdoor Education Centre.  But that sure isn’t evident by the low catch volume returned to SMTP today.  While the fields were buzzing daily, not nearly as many insects as I expected were intercepted by the trap.  I changed trap locations, but didn’t want to “manipulate” the outcome of the process – bad science!

A fly - tachinid?
A fly – tachinid?

Maybe in the end some tiny creature will end up being new to BOLD, or even to science, which would be pretty cool.  And if not from my trap, maybe from one of the others, which makes the whole thing a worthwhile effort.

Thanks to the SMTP team for all your expertise and effort in managing this program, and for giving all of us the opportunity to participate in such an amazing science project.

Final Trap Day

Our research period has come to an end. The research team did a final meeting and dismantled the trap and then compared week 1 and week 2 catch. The weather is getting much cooler, therefore we are seeing fewer insects. Frost had spread on roofs Friday morning. We are so thankful that our school was chosen to participate in the School Malaise Trap Program and we cannot wait to see the results of our research!




Photograph Photograph2

Final day for Brooksbank in North Vancouver, BC

The collections bottles are sealed and back in their box, the trap itself is a sodden mass (currently drying in my classroom over the weekend), our class has said goodbye to the Malaise Trap, and we wish good luck to the scientists who now have quite a job to wade through all the specimens that start arriving back at the Mothership next week!

You can see in our pictures that one local arachnid was super happy to set up camp in the Malaise Trap. She looked very happy in there, but we encouraged her to complete the rest of her life cycle elsewhere.

My students pass along congratulations to all the schools, and a big thank you to the organizers for giving us the opportunity to take part in a cool experiment!IMG_7850 IMG_7854 IMG_7856 IMG_7857

Sad That It’s Over

Hello everyone,

It’s Mr. Drew’s 5/4 class again.  We are sad to announce that our collection is over.  We had a great two weeks watching our collection bottles gradually fill up with all sorts of flying insects.

We managed to catch quite a few!  We caught a lot more than some of us thought we would.  At the same time though,  some of us estimated we would be catching thousands of insects and we did not quite achieve that.

We did properly predict many of the types of insects we ended up catching.  We caught what we think are some wasps, bees, mosquitoes, and many types of flies, though we are not sure what kind.

Overall it was very interesting and we are glad we got to be a part of such awesome research.



5/4 D

End of Week 2

It’s hard to believe that collection time is over!  It has gone so quickly.  We’ve had a second sunny and warm week for our final collection.  Maybe it’s a good thing that the collection has ended though – the snow is supposed to fly tonight.  Looks like we’ve collected some pretty interesting specimens – and some different ones compared to week 1.




Now we await results!  Excited to see what species we trapped and if there are any unique species in our collection bottles.