Apr 30, 2015

by Valerie Allan

NAEC is participating in a scientific experiment in partnership with Guelph University. Students, staff, and visitors may have noticed the giant “Malaise” trap situated behind the school. This trap attracts and traps insects, which are then sent to the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario in order to assign a barcode to their DNA.

This is a cross-Canada endeavour, involving secondary schools in each province. NAEC is the only school in Limestone District School Board to participate. Ms. Randle, a Science teacher at NAEC, applied for this opportunity. NAEC was one of about 60 sites selected from over 200 applications. Ms. Randle explains, “When I heard about this opportunity at STAO 2014, I knew that this was the type of project that I wanted our students to participate in.”

The Biodiversity Institute of Ontario (BIO) at the University of Guelph outlines the program in some of their literature: “Through this program we have provided thousands of students with information on biodiversity, DNA barcoding, and the star of our program — the Malaise trap. Because this tent-like apparatus is so effective at collecting insects, we provide each class with its own trap to explore biodiversity in their schoolyard.”

The trap is set up for three weeks, and specimens are collected by students throughout that time.

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