Flight of the Butterflies

January 1st, 2010 - June 30th, 2015 | PROJECT

The Maryland Science Center, in partnership with SK Films, Inc. received NSF funding to produce a large format, 2D/3D film and multi-component educational materials and activities on the annual migration of monarch butterflies, their life cycle, the web of life at select sites where they land, and the citizen science efforts that led to the monarch migration discovery. Project goals are to 1) raise audience understanding of the nature of scientific investigation and the open-ended nature of the scientific process, 2) enhance and extend citizen science programs to new audiences, and 3) create better awareness of monarch biology, insect ecology and the importance of habitat. Innovation/Strategic Impact: The film has been released in both 3D and 2D 15/70 format. RMC Research Corporation has conducted evaluation of the project, both formatively and summatively, including a study of the comparable strengths of the 2D and 3D versions of the film. RMC has conducting formative evaluation and is currently conducting summative evaluation to assess the success of project materials in communicating science and achieving the project's learning goals. Collaboration: This project employs a collaborative model of partnerships between the project team and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), the University of Minnesota's Monarchs in the Classroom and Monarch Watch. Project advisors represent world-renown monarch butterfly research scientists and educators, including Dr. Karen Oberhauser, named a "Champion of Change" by President Obama in June 2013, and Dr. Chip Taylor, founder and director of Monarch Watch at the University of Kansas.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Project Products

Flight of the Butterflies Spotlight
Flight of the Butterflies Treatment Test Report
Flight of the Butterflies Final Report

Team Members

Jim O'Leary, Principal Investigator, Maryland Science Center


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ISE
Award Number: 1027588
Funding Amount: $3,000,000


Audience: Adults | Educators | Teachers | Elementary School Children (6-10) | Families | General Public | Middle School Children (11-13) | Museum | ISE Professionals | Parents | Caregivers | Scientists | Seniors | Youth | Teen (up to 17)
Discipline: Ecology | forestry | agriculture | General STEM | Life science | Nature of science
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Citizen Science Programs | Films and IMAX | Media and Technology | Museum and Science Center Programs | Public Programs | Theater Programs