Weekend, Day 2, In the Lab
Hi students! Science is not all fun. Sometimes it is long hours of doing work that must be done. We spent the day in the laboratory going through the many, many caterpillars we found the day before. Every caterpillar has to be looked at carefully every day. We feed them, clean their bags of "frass", and record changes that we see. Sometimes we record that the caterpillar died, maybe from parasatoids. Sometimes we record that they are beginning to pupate, which means they are making a cocoon. Look below and notice that scientists look carefully and concentrate on what they are doing so they understand and learn.
Ms. Larson using a magnifying glass to find a very small caterpillar.
Can you see that the caterpillar (above) has started to make a cocoon inside the plastic bag? Soon we will not be able to see him because he will put lots more silk around himself. Then the scientists will wait to see him come out as a butterfly in a couple weeks.
Some days it seemed like we'd never finish looking at all the caterpillars. Above Ms. Larson and Ms. Lombardi put data into the scientist's computer.
The microscope and camera are always close by. Ms. Hazen must document everything she does so other scientists around the world can look at her pictures and learn from what she's doing.
At the end of the day, Dr. Lee Dyer from the University of Nevada came to speak to us. He thanked us for helping him with his research, and he explained why it is so important. I'll tell you more about that when I return. It was great to hear him talk about his work and to ask him questions. He's a very smart man, and very nice, too.
Tomorrow I will only send a short blog with just a couple pictures of New Orleans. We'll be working hard in the lab again on Monday and then packing up to return to Minnesota. The time has gone by fast, by it's been a real good experience. I'm looking forward to seeing you on Wednesday. Mrs. Armstrong