Buzzing teaching tool

first_imgBy Sara LaJeunesseUniversity of GeorgiaWasp wrangling may sound like risky business, especially forchildren. Actually, it’s quite safe. So much so that a Universityof Georgia professor is using wasps as a way to teach science.Collaborating with UGA science education colleagues and about 100Georgia middle school science teachers, UGA entomologist BobMatthews has developed 20 classroom activities using “WOWBugs,”wasps so tiny that their stingers can’t penetrate humanskin.”The first lesson is handling the organism,” Matthewssaid. Bug-racing 101Students practice sweeping the bugs across their desks with paintbrushes. In a second lesson, called WOWBug Racetrack, they learnhow to collect and analyze data. They record the time it takesfor the flightless wasps to scuttle from one end of the track tothe other.Matthews and his colleagues have studied these wasps’ biology formore than 30 years. He first recognized their potential asteaching tools when he was in graduate school.”They literally found me,” he said of the discovery that WOWBugshad infested his thesis experiment involving a bee.From this fiasco, Matthews learned of the wasps’ hardiness andshort (24-day) life cycle, which makes them convenient to study.He named thm WOWBugs because of the enthusiasm they generated. For college students, tooWOWBug use at the college level is a bit more involved. Matthewsand postdoctoral associate Jorge M. Gonzalez created four modulesfor freshman biology classes. These modules help students study: * Courtship and aggression behaviors.* Natural selection and heritability.* Ecological interactions, including competition.* Development and polymorphism (having more than one form –short-winged versus long-winged, in the case of females).One of Matthews’ animal behavior classes was taught through theUGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Thestudents designed WOWBug experiments for their end-of-termprojects.Vanessa Reynolds, a recent UGA graduate, examined whether femalewasps would choose to lay eggs on a host that had already beenparasitized or go for a “clean” host instead. Although her studyyielded inconclusive results, Reynolds was impressed with theclass.”It influenced my goals,” she said. “Now I’d love to go tograduate school in animal behavior and incorporate that subjectinto a focus in education.”Stories like this make Matthews proud. And Reynolds is only oneamong the many students of all ages who have been wowed by thisbug.”Fifteen years ago, if you had said WOWBugs were going to gonational or international in the next decade or so, I would havesaid you’re crazy,” Matthews said. “But it’s becoming anothermodel organism for classroom use at all levels.”For more information, visit the Web site www.wowbugs.com or emailMatthews at [email protected]center_img Ant-size non-stinging wasps”They were originally called fast wasps in allusion to theirrapid life cycle,” he said. “Unfortunately, the name didn’t havegood marketing appeal, as it conjured up a quick sting!”Not much bigger than fleas, the parasitic wasps (Melittobiadigitata) prey on many solitary bees and wasps, including muddaubers — large, black wasps that make mud nests.The tiny bugs have some fascinating characteristics. The male,for example “is most un-insect looking,” Matthews said. “He’sblind, his antler-like antennae are grotesquely modified and he’sgot little stumps for wings.”This compromised chap’s pheromones let him do his procreativeduty, however, as long as he can steer clear of other males whowill try to kill him.In any case, teachers are enthusiastic about using WOWBugs.Brenda Hunt of North Habersham Middle School in Clarkesville,Ga., teaches her students how to collect wild specimens byscraping mud dauber nests off the sides of buildings.”I also tell them,” she said, “not to use their mothers’ spatulaswithout permission.”last_img read more

Empty-nesters lapping up the bayside lifestyle in the Redlands

first_imgReflections Cleveland. Reflections is a 200m walk to the Cleveland CBD, 400m to Raby Bay entertainment and restaurant precinct, 600m to the railway station or 1km to the foreshore.Mr Baird said all apartments benefited from clever design creating a new benchmark in apartment living amenity and appointments including premium European appliances, stone benchtops and premium finishes.The building will be secured by on-site managers, there are two side-by-side lifts for easy access for residents and two carparks for most apartments.The apartment mix is seven one-bedroom’s, 28 two-bedrooms, 20 three-bedroom and four penthouses (one four bedroom which has sold and three three-bedroom).There are two communal areas in the building, with a large multipurpose room on the ground floor and a resort style pool and barbecue area on level two.P3 Projects managing director Dario Pigozzo has led the family development business for 15 years with a passion for design and eye for quality.Redlands Constructions managing director Peter Endacott has lived and worked locally for almost 50 years, building his first family home in the Redlands in 1979. As managing director he has delivered two iconic developments in the bay area, “32 on Middle” and “View Point”. Reflections Cleveland.“These apartments are generously sized with spacious living areas and balconies focused on living the bayside lifestyle,” Mr Baird said.With lead agents East Coast Residential and Prestige at the helm, sales have reached 50 per cent with only three of the four penthouses available and a limited number of three-bedroom apartments still left.Mr Baird said the buyers were almost exclusively owner-occupiers with the majority being empty-nesters looking to downsize for their next phase of life.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home4 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor4 hours ago“The majority of the apartments are east facing and all are outward facing with many boasting outstanding vistas,” Mr Baird said.“We think we’ve definitely landed the right location for this development with Cleveland really transforming itself of late.“We’re on a quite side street centrally located between the Cleveland Village and the Bay and within easy walking distance of everything.”center_img Construction has started at Reflections Cleveland, providing 59 apartments including four penthouses with bay breezes and extensive views.THE sod has just been turned on Reflections Cleveland, an eight-storey, 59 apartment development offering a new lifestyle choice in the Redlands.Redlands City Mayor Karen Williams officially kicked off the construction of the 59 apartment, four penthouse development in Cleveland on Thursday.Set to be built by Kyronn, well known for their construction projects across Queensland and the Pacific Islands, the development is a joint venture between P3 Projects and Redland Constructions, with prices for a one-bedroom second level apartment to start at $365,000.P3 Projects finance and marketing manager Glenn Baird said Cleveland was the gateway to bayside living and partnering with Redlands Constructions would provide a premium development that was without compromise for livability and location.last_img read more