Win a FREE trip to the Science Center!
Here’s a chance for your class or your group to “invent an insect" and WIN! This contest was developed to celebrate our new exhibit Harry’s Big Adventure: My Bug World! and to help kids learn about the fascinating world of insects while also encouraging creativity and teamwork!
The contest is open to 3rd through 6th graders and will begin in November 2013. Students will choose one of the habitats from the descriptions listed below and "invent" an insect that will be able to survive in that habitat given the unique characteristics and adaptations your class or group has created. The winning class will receive a trip (bus transportation provided - up to $600) to the Science Center and free tickets to the new exhibition, Harry's Big Adventure: My Bug World! The contest will be highlighted on the Science Center’s Facebook page
Winners will be chosen by a panel of educators from the Saint Louis Science Center and the winners will be announced via Facebook on December 16, 2013. Each of the winning schools/groups will be contacted to plan their trip to the Saint Louis Science Center. Only first place winners will receive free bus transportation.
Questions? Email email@example.com
Submissions are due on or before December 9, 2013
Details and official rules are available below:
Tundra: Climate is extremely cold with an average winter temperature of -30 degrees Fahrenheit and average summer temperature of 40 degree Fahrenheit. The plants in the area look very plain and sparse at first glance. The little vegetation that is present is short and clumped close together. While the area doesn’t get much rainfall, the ground is constantly frozen in some form and it does have a layer of permafrost. Puddles and bogs form in the summer time. While the area seems bleak, it is home to a surprising variety of mammals, birds, fish and insects. Look closely and you’ll discover surprisingly hearty diversity. Due to constant migration the population is constantly changing. Dead organic material is the ecosystem’s basic source of nutrients and an insect’s main predator will be birds and a few small mammals. However your bug will have to watch out for other predators that include birds and a few small mammals.
Tropical Forests: There is no large body of water but everything is consistently damp due to the high humidity and rainy season. Temperature is between 65 degrees to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Forests are dense and plentiful with exotic plant and animal life. Trees, mossy ground cover and decomposing matter are a bug’s favorite food source. A bug’s top predators are the many species of monkeys, amphibians and larger carnivorous bugs.
Grasslands: The expansive flat lands are covered in tall grasses with just a few sparse trees speckling the horizon. The annual rainfall averages 50-120 cm and are followed by a long period of drought. Insects feed on plant life and dead organic matter. The biggest risk to your insects is the rapidly spreading fires that occur during drought. While this adds a good deal of nutrients to the porous soil, it eliminates the camouflage of hiding spots for many small animals. They become easy targets to birds with little protection. At these times, becoming one with the ground is crucial as the sole means of a food source and shelter. During a fire, insects are the least likely to escape.
Desert: With 2-4 cm of rain each year the sandy, gravely terrain comes to life with even a small amount of rainfall. The temperature can be as high as 90 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 50 degrees Fahrenheit in the evenings. Insects need only a very small portion of nectar and plants life on which to feed.Plant and animal life possess unique adaptations in order to protect themselves in these harsh conditions. Bugs are very active during the day and try to stay in the shadows of the plants. Resources are at a premium so all bugs require a good deal of defensive tactics against predators including birds, scorpions and other bugs.
Aquatic/River bank: The average summer temperature is 80 degrees Fahrenheit with an average winter temperature of 35 degrees Fahrenheit. Regularly, the water level stays high with an average yearly rain fall of around 200 cm. The freshwater is often warm and the banks are edged in algae. Insects feed on plants living in and out of the water. Their favorite time to feast is the spring time, eating nectar from wild flowers. A bug’s main predators are the many reptiles, amphibians and birds which roam the land and water. While a bug may not spend its time living and feeding IN the water, its life cycle would not continue without this moist and properly sheltered habitat. Bugs make frequent trips from shore to the water, especially after heavy rainfall.
Each class or group must have a minimum of 3 people working on this project. Each team will pick a specific habitat, from the list provided to you in which their insect will live. We recommend you research your chosen habitat and find out what other predators or prey reside there as well as what adaptations you think your insect will need to have to survive in that environment.
Now you are ready to create your insect! Be creative and remember this is your invention; it can be as big as your imagination allows it to be! Insects must be made out of natural or recyclable material (glue, tape, and string are also allowed).
Along with each insect entry, the students must also submit either a photo journal and description or a video with the students describing the insect and the different adaptations that it has to survive. Submissions can be loaded to YouTube or other public forums and a link to the submission can be sent via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or Facebook to the Saint Louis Science Center. Please use "Invent and Insect Contest" in the subject line.
Students who are currently in grades 3rd through 6th. Only groups of 3 or more individuals may enter.
First Place: Your class will receive a free field trip to the Saint Louis Science Center to visit the Harry’s Big Adventure: My Bug World! exhibition. This includes free bus transportation (up to $600) and free admission to the exhibit. Your field trip must occur no later than January 20, 2014 (final day of the exhibit).
Second Place: Your class will receive free admission to the “Harry’s Big Adventure” bug exhibit.
Third Place: Your class will receive free admission to a Planetarium Show.