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Aquatic Insects in Mountain Streams
In this lesson plan from Clemson University, middle school students first learn to recognize, characterize, and describe the microhabitats (riffle, run, and pool) of a mountain stream. They identify the abiotic (non-living) factors that might affect the insects living in different habitats within the stream and discuss morphological adaptations that insects need to prosper in each habitat. Armed with this information, students go into the field to collect insects. Back in the lab, they examine and identify the insects under a microscope, observe the adaptations they see, and graphically represent their findings. The lesson contains comprehensive teacher resources, including a teacher field activity supplement and an illustrated insect fact sheet. A slide show on aquatic insect morphology contains useful photographs.
Program Director: Barbara Jean Speziale, Ph.D.
Award Years: 1998, 2002, 2006
Summary: Clemson University is a public research university in Clemson, South Carolina. Its HHMI-funded initiatives include:
- Interactive research communities for undergraduates from Clemson and three historically black colleges and universities;
- Extensive professional development opportunities, including graduate-level courses in bioengineering, bioinformatics and other topics, and summer and short-term courses on natural history, for middle and high school teachers;
- Two CD series that aid students and teachers in learning about various components of South Carolina ecosystems: the SC LIFE Image CD Series, consisting of hundreds of images of invertebrates and vertebrates, and the SC LIFE Interactive CD series, which explores the diversity of flora and fauna in the five physiographic regions of the state; and
- Programs, including laboratory field trips, for middle and high school students to improve their knowledge and understanding of biodiversity and natural history using multidisciplinary curriculum materials that are also available online.