October 2012, by Cara Krieg
The students of Harper Creek have been learning about biodiversity! Mrs. Joostberns’ 4th graders ventured out one chilly morning to uncover the treasures waiting for them in the invertebrate traps that were set out the week before. The students discovered that many fliesand bees stuck to the sticky traps placed above the plants. In contrast, cups buried in the ground caught many worms, ants, and beetles. Because of the heavy rains the weekend before, many of the cups flooded and some of the insects were still alive! A giant grasshopper became the star of the show before I returned it safely to its home in the BEST plots. The students were excited to see invertebrates in all different shapes and sizes.
The data collected that morning will be combined with the same measurements already taken at Harper Creek High School and Sonoma Elementary to figure out how our experimental treatments impacted the invertebrates. The students at all three schools noticed that they caught more insects in the plots that were fertilized compared to the unfertilized plots. Does fertilizing plants make more food for insects? We’re excited to the see the data from the other BEST plots to answer this, and many other, interesting questions!