We have finally finished our whole project.The milkweed seeds finally came so we were able to put the kit together! We finished the directions and we decided to make two different options for how you want to plant it: in the ground or in the box. Then, yesterday, we got to present to our parents. It was fun to show everyone how hard we had worked and we got lots of positive feedback! They told us that it was explained well and they were wondering where they could buy it! If we had more time, we would actually sell it and make sure there are no flaws at all. We would have to make the box bigger because milkweed seeds have to be planted 2 feet apart. We would also have to have much more detailed directions so people would not have any questions on how to put it together.
We have been making great progress. Right now we have the base designs of what our kit is going to look like and we just need to the final item, which is the actual milkweed seeds. We have learned that lots of people are willing to have milkweed grow in their yards, but also have them in far away places so it doesn’t poison their pets. Our kit will be having two sections: one where the soil will be places and set into and the other one will have little bags that will contain the little pebbles, the seeds, and instruction of how to properly plant the seeds. The stickers that we will attach on the top of the lid will have a QR code that will lead the user to our website. We have also placed labels on the inside of the lid to let the people know that the milkweed is poisonous to dogs and cats.
Our CBL group has been working on our project very thoroughly in the past week. Charlie and Channing worked very hard on putting our kit together when all of our materials came. Jai worked on getting our survey out to all of the students so we could collect data. Channing finished our infographic and we laminated it. We are still waiting for our Milkweed seeds to come in the mail so we can test our product. This is causing difficultly because we couldn’t continue working. We are also looking to finish our planting directions for planting outside which we hope to finish next week. We also started working on our poster and are hoping to get that done also. I would definitely say this was a very productive week and we can't wait to continue working.
We all have made excellent progress. We have almost finished our gallery section and instead of creating an app for data collection, we have set up a survey section on the website so it would be an easier way of people reporting information. We are continuing to improve our website and we ordered all of out product. We are looking forward to assembling our kit!
This week, we have been finalizing our solution. We have gotten feedback on it from lots of faculty member and adults at our school. They pointed out some of the smaller details that we overlooked when making this solution. There were a lot more complications than we thought! What if people don’t want to grow milkweed in they yard because it’s a weed? Where would people plant it, if they don’t have pots? And the big question, how will we get our kits to people? We have been researching and working out all of these questions during the week. Hopefully, we’ll be able to figure it out and successfully make our kits.
As well as working on our kits, we have worked on this website a lot. We’ve been adding photos and videos, a way to contact us, and more. Setting up our website is crucial. Without it, nobody will be able to get a kit if they don’t know us personally, and without the kits, we can’t help the monarch butterflies. So, we’ve worked very hard to make it easy to find things on it, make it appealing, and make sure we aren’t missing anything.
Currently our problem that we are solving is Monarch butterfly migration. Specifically the kind of food the Monarch larvae eat. They eat milkweed plants, a type of plant that feeds the larvae and provides them with a set amount of toxins that they will use to defend themselves from predators. Our problem is that some milkweed can be dangerous to different kind of Monarchs and that it can provide them too much or too little toxins. Different Monarch in different areas of the country need different milkweed that are native to that specific area. But these milkweed plants are spreading to others areas to which they are not native to so they are different environments, meaning that the monarchs in that area eat the non native milkweed and die due to it.
We decided to focus on monarch migration because it’s the easiest because we know that Monarch populations have been dropping increasingly in the past 20 years. Our solution to this is creating a kit that anyone can plant anywhere. The kit would contain milkweed seeds that are native to the area you live in, soil for the area that you live in, and a container that will allow monarchs to eat the milkweed and it will the contain the milkweed so it doesn’t get out into the rest of the world and infect its non native areas. This idea is already out there, but we are improving on the idea by adding a containment unit for the milkweed. The people who helped us with the idea was Mr. Daniel Potter, an entomologist apart of the University of Kentucky. He was the one who suggested the idea of a milkweed kit that they came up with. In conclusion, we are getting closer to the solution of our problem.
We are a small group of 7th grade students trying to solve a problem. We were tasked with finding a problem under the umbrella of movement. We wanted to focus on a more specific topic of migration which finally lead us to a topic that is very close to home and familiar to us, monarch butterflies. We already knew that this species was endangered and needed help, but as we looked into it we were surprised to see that numbers of monarch butterflies have dropped 86% in the last 20 years! This is a major problem.
As a group we were originally drawn to monarch butterflies, because as children in California, we grew up seeing them fly through our backyard and we would marvel at their bright colors. It was natural for us to see them back then, but numbers now are declining, fast. We were quick to reach, searching up some of the main reasons for their endangerment. We found them to mostly be, global warming, causing them to travel further then they should on their migration patterns, and the loss of the monarch butterflies only food, milkweed, which is being intoxicated by pesticides and carbon dioxide.
As we work diligently to come up with our solution, we remember the joy we once had as little children and we hope to soon make it so the generations to come can experience this too. We have come up with a few ideas like making an app or a product that can help people plant more milkweed, but whatever we end up with, we hope can change the life and migration of monarchs forever!
We are three 7th grade students who live in Los Angeles and love Monarch Butterflies!