BioSleuths: Belleville

BioSleuths: Belleville

Grasshopper Dissection – internal

Did you know that grasshoppers have a tubular digestive system just like humans?  Turns out we’re more alike than we thought. Students had the chance to dissect a grasshopper and see its internal structure. Students then observed the different systems including Digestive, Excretory, Nervous, Reproductive, Circulatory, and Respiratory.

One student remarked, “It’s like this grasshopper is a mini person!”

Ask your student:

The Trachea and Spiracles are a part of what organ system? (Respiration)

Name one structure inside of the grasshopper  (intestines, muscles, stomach, brain, heart, trachea, eggs/ovary or testes)

BioSleuths: Belleville

BioSleuths: Belleville

Forensic Entomology

Have you ever heard of a blow fly? Did you ever think about their life cycle and how theirs differs or compares with our own? In today’s lesson, students were introduced to and mimicked the Blow Fly life cycle with pasta pieces. Afterwards, our young forensic etymologists began to understand what role temperature plays in the growth of a blow fly.

Ask your student:

What kind of metamorphosis is evident for the blow fly larva? (complete)

What is one of the stages of the blow fly life cycle? (eggs, 1st instar larvae, 2nd instar larvae, 3rd instar larvae…)

BioSleuths: Belleville

BioSleuths Belleville – Ant Investigations

Today, students were able to use their knowledge of experiments by hypothesizing, conducting an experiment, collecting, and interpreting data. Students were asked to test different substances and observe an ant’s reaction to it. Some substances were preferred by the ants meanwhile other substances were avoided.

The young scientists appeared eager to experiment. One student commented, “I think the ants will like chips because I like chips!”

Ask your student:

What is a hypothesis?

What kind of substances can I use to repel ants if I have an ant infestation in my house? (Cinnamon, Vinegar, Baby Powder)

BioSleuths: Belleville

BioSleuths – Belleville: Pollination Party

Have you ever thought about pollination and how important it is? Today our students were able to role play and actively participate in a “pollination party”. The pollination party allowed for students to play as butterflies, grasshoppers, and bees thus allowing for a more hands on experience. Students not only understood the important of insects through the role playing but also through a comparison of produce images showing a world with bees and without bees.

Overall, students were able to understand the importance of insects in a flower life cycle and even human lives.

Ask your student:

What would happen if there were not bees? (we would have a lot less food in the produce section of the grocery store)

Name an animal that helps transfer pollen. (butterfly, moth, ant, wasp, beetle, fly,bird, bat)


BioSleuths: Belleville

Monday: Flower Dissection

Flowers, they are everywhere. But did you ever notice how important insects are to a plant and its life cycle? Students learned the different flower parts such as the petals and the stamen. Not only were students able to learn what the flower parts are but also were able to dissect a real flower.

One student stated, “I like bees now. They help make pretty flowers.”

Ask your student:

What do insects do to help a flower make more of itself? (pollinate, transfer pollen)

What does a flower provide to a butterfly? (provides food/nourishment to the butterfly)

C.S.IMSA: Calling all Forensic Investigators!

C.S.IMSA: Calling all Forensic Investigators!

We’ve come across a mystery and need your help to crack the case.  As part of this program, participants will work in teams to gather evidence as they unravel the science and mathematics behind crime scene clues like finger and footprints, DNA, handwriting, voice identification and more!  At the end of the week, teams will analyze their evidence, make deductions and propose their theories in an effort to solve the mystery.

Vital Signs: Is there a Doctor in the House?

Vital Signs: Is there a Doctor in the House?

This program will give budding medical students a general understanding of human anatomy through hands-on explorations of the heart, blood, bones and muscles! Participants will also engage in a fun and challenging bioengineering project that will allow them to apply engineering principles and practices to the structure and function of the human body.


BioSleuths: What’s it all about?

BioSleuths: What’s it all about?

This program is for budding biologists who want to learn more about the world around them and the creatures within it. From bees to butterflies, to flowers and trees, to cricket chirps and bird songs, students will be immersed in hands-on exploration, and “buzzing” with excitement!

Students will be exploring insects and plants, and their interactions. We want our BioSleuths to use their problem solving and observing skills while exploring the natural ecosystems that exist everywhere – even in our own backyards. For example, many plants depend on foraging insects for pollination.