Backyard science observation

Backyard science observation  thumbnail135664
There is a new resident at the Charles A. Reinhard Early Childhood Center in the Bellmore School District.

For the past couple of weeks, the Reinhard Rising Stars have observed the development of a chrysalis (pupa), which is hanging from the leaves of one of the plants in the school’s new butterfly garden. On Sept. 26, students had noted that the chrysalis had changed color and the newly formed butterfly’s wings were about to show through.

“We are teaching students to be scientists and this has been an excellent way for all of the students to utilize their observation skills,” Principal Patricia Castine said. “They can simply go to their courtyard to learn firsthand about the stages of the butterfly.”

The impetus for the garden resulted from Ms. Castine’s attendance at an environmental workshop in which educators were taught how to create a science learning environment in their own school yard. With PTA funding and donations from a local nursery, the butterfly garden was created during the 2018-2019 school year with brightly colored flowers and a butterfly bush. The prekindergarten students released Painted Lady butterflies during the spring after learning about the life cycle of butterflies. Ms. Castine remarked that this chrysalis is the first evidence that butterflies are using the garden to form. 

Reinhard’s butterfly garden does need maintenance. In October, the school’s garden club will be cleaning up the garden and getting it ready for the coming spring.