Students from across Otoe County have been learning about butterflies through the 4-H program Project Butterfly Wings, said Erin Steinhoff, Otoe County 4-H Extension Assistant.
Students from eleven 2nd grade classrooms at Bennet, Lourdes Central Catholic, Syracuse and Nebraska City 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.
Students also learned about the types of native bees, their life cycles, why bees visit flowers, and why the process of bee pollination is so important for our food supply and agriculture. 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 lifecycle 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.