Title

The Only Good Mosquito Is a Dead Mosquito: Student-Led Scientific Investigations of Mosquito Predation

Location

Kansas State University-Manhattan Campus

Session Type

Workshop

Streaming Media

Session Abstract

Most everyone loves to hate mosquitoes. The exercise begins by asking students to describe mosquitoes and what would happened if mosquitoes were eliminated. Then we do a hands-on demonstration of mosquito larvae being eaten by a dragonfly larva. Next, we have students design experiments to see how many mosquito larvae are consumed by other invertebrates (in this case dragonfly larvae and tadpole shrimp). Both of these predator groups readily eat mosquito larvae in a classroom setting and so students get to witness “the wild kingdom” first hand and then interpret their hypotheses. Then, we circle back to what good are mosquitoes… without them, lots of other organisms that we know and like would be food-limited. We have used this open-ended investigation with majors and non-majors and found it to be a great technique to improve science literacy while making it fun to observe mosquito larvae being eaten.

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The Only Good Mosquito Is a Dead Mosquito: Student-Led Scientific Investigations of Mosquito Predation

Kansas State University-Manhattan Campus

Most everyone loves to hate mosquitoes. The exercise begins by asking students to describe mosquitoes and what would happened if mosquitoes were eliminated. Then we do a hands-on demonstration of mosquito larvae being eaten by a dragonfly larva. Next, we have students design experiments to see how many mosquito larvae are consumed by other invertebrates (in this case dragonfly larvae and tadpole shrimp). Both of these predator groups readily eat mosquito larvae in a classroom setting and so students get to witness “the wild kingdom” first hand and then interpret their hypotheses. Then, we circle back to what good are mosquitoes… without them, lots of other organisms that we know and like would be food-limited. We have used this open-ended investigation with majors and non-majors and found it to be a great technique to improve science literacy while making it fun to observe mosquito larvae being eaten.

http://newprairiepress.org/isitl/2017/Workshops/2