Butterflies in Space

This Butterflies in Space unit also includes:

How does gravity affect the life cycle of a butterfly? Learn first-hand what types of investigations astronauts perform in space by following along with one of NASA's experiments. Create butterfly habitats in the classroom with specific factors to be studied (learners choose what to study). Compare classroom habitats to the similar habitats studied on the International Space Station by using photographs and data collected by astronauts. Follow the procedure carefully to ensure that the main variable being tested, at least in one of the experiments, is gravity. Some groups may choose to investigate other topics, as well. The lesson requires daily observations, and may be even more powerful if you have access to a webcam and can allow the habitats to be viewed online while kids are at home. 

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CCSS: Adaptable
NGSS: Adaptable
Pros

  • Uses real-world data collected from NASA
  • Adaptable for any age group
  • Use of live animals is highly engaging
  • Excellent experiment for data collection, analysis, and observation skills
  • Easily adaptable to several Common Core standards and Next Generation Science Standards
Cons

  • Significant set-up (depending on how many butterfly habitats are being used) and time needed for experiment
  • Depending on age of learners, may require a lot of adult supervision and support