This is truly one of the most exciting and busy times of year for staff from all departments at the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario! Preparing for the School Malaise Trap Program requires extensive planning, coordination, organization, and a LOT of tape (with a little luck thrown in along the way).
And here we are! The program packages have been sent out, and shortly, students from 61 schools across Canada will be monitoring a Malaise Trap in their schoolyard for a 2 week period from September 22nd – October 3rd, 2014, in order to assess their local insect biodiversity.
When we mentioned a lot of tape, we meant it! Check out the picture below of our School Malaise Trap Program packages right before they were about to be shipped – 61 packages in total!
So let us tell you a little bit about how we got to this stage and what can be found in each of these boxes. Each package is 30″ x 14″ x 7″ and weighs approximately 14 lbs. Individual packages will contain a Malaise Trap, which is about the size of a small tent (6 feet tall and 6 feet long), a program information folder for instructors, and a “research in progress” sign which is to be placed on the Malaise Trap once it is assembled. We also include swag, such as buttons and bookmarks, for all of the students involved in the program. Currently, we have 2,526 students enrolled in the Fall 2014 version of the program from 94 classrooms. Literally, this means that staff at BIO must count out the appropriate number of bookmarks, buttons, pens etc… for each student in each of the participating classes! As you can imagine, this process can be quite time consuming so we do our best to start preparing for each program as soon as possible!