Otoe County students study butterfly life cycle through Nebraska Extension

Nebraska City News-Press

Students from across Otoe County have been learning about butterflies through the 4-H school enrichment program Butterfly Wings, said Erin Steinhoff, Otoe County 4-H Extension Assistant.

Students from 11 second-grade classrooms at Bennet Elementary, the St. Benedict’s campus of Lourdes Central Catholic, Syracuse-Dunbar-Avoca Elementary, and Northside Elementary learned about the life cycle of a butterfly, the body parts of a caterpillar and adult butterfly, and why the process of butterfly pollination is so important for our food supply and agriculture.  

Youth also learned about the challenges that impact butterflies that include habitat loss, diseases, climate change, and pesticide exposure.

 Each classroom was provided a cup of Painted Lady larvae and a butterfly pavilion to study and observe as the larvae completed their life cycle. At the end of the project, the classes had a butterfly release.

Students also constructed a butterfly life cycle poster made from pasta, played a few rounds of Butterfly Bingo, and learned hands on how pollination works.

This 4-H School Enrichment project is a program of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in Otoe County. For more information on 4-H in Otoe County, contact the Extension Office at 402-269-2301 or via email at otoe-county@unl.edu.

Erin Steinhoff is the Nebraska 4-H Extension Assistant for Otoe County. She can be reached at 402-269-2301 or via email at erin.steinhoff@unl.edu.

Lourdes Central Catholic School was the site of a butterfly release to celebrate the conclusion of the Butterfly Wings unit that second-grade students at St. Benedict’s took part in recently.
Northside Elementary students released the Painted Lady butterflies they watched develop. Nebraska Extension in Otoe County provided the enrichment program to county schools.