You may have heard the remarkable story of the Monarch Butterfly named Journey that was hatched, tagged and released by Sisters Middle School (SMS) students in the fall of 2016. Boasting a record-setting migration, Journey managed to migrate all the way to Carpinteria in southern California – the farthest recorded migration of any Monarch from Central Oregon.
Born of an innovative and engaging learning project conceived by SMS teacher Susie Werts, the Monarch Conservation Project integrates innovative “hands-on” education creatively aligned with new Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for ecology and conservation.
Consistent with the SSD’s goal of providing an integrated education that students need to reach their fullest potential, the project integrates Science, Language Arts, Reading, and Arts curriculum infused with critical thinking and problem-solving skills. In accordance with district core beliefs, this collaborative butterfly waystation project encourages student exploration and inquisitiveness, allowing them to grow academically and develop greater confidence.
Working with noted science experts, the student “citizen scientist” inspiring curriculum focuses on species preservation and on “being the change” in working together to influence positive change for the greater good of the planet.
To launch their waystation, students planted native nectar plants and milkweed to create a “pollinators’ paradise” – taking care to maintain their flourishing garden – in an effort to hatch, tag, and release a threatened Western Monarch Butterfly. Their steadfast efforts culminated in the successful tagging and release of Journey. His documented 700-mile record-breaking migration has been celebrated as a scientific-journal-worthy accomplishment garnering enthusiastic West Coast press coverage and a national conservation education award for teacher Werts. In addition, Journey’s extraordinary story provides a valuable learning resource guide, sparked community involvement, and expanded awareness about the plight of these threatened pollinators.
Journey’s amazing migration story told by Sisters Middle School students is being documented in a book by local author Jean Nave and will be published in September 2017. Join us in following Journey’s compelling adventure, richly imagined perils and plights. His triumphant legacy will live long beyond his fleeting migratory life cycle as each and every newly hatched “citizen scientist” takes enriched flight as they pursue their own educational migration journey.
SpEd. Teacher & MCP Founder
541-549-2099 ext. 5555
Wednesday, May 31, 6 pm @ High Desert Museum
What’s being done to help native pollinators in Central Oregon? Hear from a panel of speakers including Dirk Renner of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Susie Werts from the Sisters Middle School and Cheryl Howard with the City of Bend as they share their pollinator conservation stories.