It is now Wednesday November 11th, 5 days until the launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis.  I hope we will receive the monarch larvae tomorrow or Friday so I can get them settled in their rearing cages and in your class-rooms.  I am pretty excited about this project, but also a little nervous.  But as a scientist I am used to this feeling.

I have to make sure that the Monarch larvae will be able to thrive. I have to make sure that you, the students, will be able to learn as much as possible from this experience.  And all of us have to be able to explain to your friends and family why this project is important.  This means that we not only do the experiment (which is actually the easy part) but also gather a lot of background information about things like Monarch development, zero-gravity, and space shuttles.  And then at the end of our project we have to come up with the best way to share our new knowledge with the world. 

This is actually how science is often done.  Scientists first gather knowledge and background information, set up the experiment to answer the questions they want to ask, do the experiment, analyze the data, and then share the data with the rest of the world so that the new knowledge will reach others and they can learn from it.

So are you ready for some Science?

Greetings, M.