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WANTED: Schools and individuals (located in the U.S., east of the Rocky Mountains) to follow the development of monarchs on the International Space Station.
We need to have you commit to this program by 5PM central on Friday afternoon (November 6th) – sorry for the short notice!
The next Space Shuttle launch is scheduled for November 16th (Mission STS-129). Atlantis will carry three 4th instar monarch caterpillars to the International Space Station (ISS) in a small rearing chamber. This chamber will be placed in an incubator aboard the ISS where the developing monarchs will be monitored. Still and video cameras will continually capture images, which will be made available online.
We have prepared a text that outlines normal development of monarchs from the fourth instar until emergence as adults. This detailed text is written for adults and contains an extensive glossary. It is intended to provide the information teachers need to answer student questions and as a guide to the five major challenges monarchs face in the nearly weightless environment of the International Space Station.
If you would like your school or classroom to participate, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org before 5PM central this Friday (November 6th).
Monarch Watch will send a special monarch larva kit containing six 3rd instar caterpillars and artificial diet to participating schools. The monarch kit costs $17.95 and the overnight shipping will be an additional $26 for a total of $43.95. We will also provide instructions for creating a simple rearing chamber that will approximate the conditions of the chamber that will be transported to the ISS – microgravity not included
If you participate in this program you will be able to follow the shuttle mission to the space station and the development of the monarchs in space for at least two weeks.
Background materials, additional instructions, and relevant links will be available via our website – stay tuned to our blog for details.
If you have any questions, please let us know!