I was getting worried, but late this afternoon I received word from UPS that the monarch caterpillars that will live in the Leal classrooms will arrive tomorrow.  The team in Kansas that started this project have been so overwhelmed by all the requests from classrooms all around the country that I was worried that they may have lost our request.  But if UPS says that they are on the way, then...

Today I have been busy with preparing the rearing cages for the caterpillars.  I sure hope I followed the directions correctly.  Since I am an entomologist I have reared many insects in my life; tomato hornworms, sugarcane borers, corn borers, aphids, and  a lot of different species of parasitic wasps.  But never monarch caterpillars, so we will learn together.  For instance, I did not know that it was so important for the monarchs to have their food arranged vertically on one of the walls of the cage, rather than just sitting on the floor of the cage.  But the instructions from monarchwatch.com were very clear, so I think I did it right. 

Here is a picture of all the assembled rearing cages:

I also worked on preparing a little presentation to introduce this project to all of you tomorrow.  I am going to talk to you about Space Shuttles, Space Stations, Astronauts, Rearing Cages, Monarch Life Stages, Geotaxis, Weightlessness, Data collecting, etc.  Looking forward to talking to you all tomorrow.