Title:School Malaise Trap Program
CBG Units: Collections, Genomics, Informatics
Scope: Educational program designed to fulfill core curriculum requirements for STEM teaching and learning across Canada; engages students in arthropod diversity through hands-on and inquiry-based learning activities
Project Duration: 2013-Ongoing
Stage: In Progress
Reach: 15K students across Canada (300+ schools, 9 provinces, 2 territories)
Sequences: 322K+ specimens; 102K+ DNA barcodes; 9.1K species; 1.5K species new to BOLD
The goal of the School Malaise Trap Program (SMTP) is to encourage students to explore, question, and understand the world around them – starting with their own schoolyard. Since 2013, SMTP has provided Malaise traps to over 300 schools across Canada. This has given 15,000 students the opportunity to explore local arthropod diversity through hands-on and inquiry-based learning.
Specimens collected by students are contributing directly to the Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) – the world’s largest DNA barcode reference library. To date, SMTP participants have collected over 322K specimens comprising 9.1K species of which nearly 1.5K species were new to BOLD.
Participation in the SMTP connects students to global biodiversity initiatives such as the International Barcode of Life project. Through this program, students are introduced to the life of a biologist and the exciting science of DNA barcoding through comprehensive lesson plans which address multiple specific expectations across elementary and secondary curricula.
The SMTP runs during the spring and fall of each year. Each participating school receives a program package, educational materials, and a Malaise trap to collect arthropods in their schoolyard for a specified two-week period. The specimens are sent back to the Centre for Biodiversity Genomics where they are analyzed, and a report of the results is sent to each school. Currently participation in SMTP is open to schools across Canada.
Interactive map of past School Malaise Trap Program participants
|Fall 2016||Program Outcomes|
|New to BOLD||209|
|Fall 2015||Program Outcomes|
|New to BOLD||247|
|Spring 2015||Program Outcomes|
|New to BOLD||308|
|Fall 2014||Program Outcomes|
|New to BOLD||324|
|Spring 2014||Program Outcomes|
|New to BOLD||20|
|Fall 2013||Program Outcomes|
|New to BOLD||113|
|Spring 2013||Program Outcomes|
|New to BOLD||276|
Ben Forest (December 10 2015). St. Thomas Times Journal.
(December 4 2015). Waterloo Region District School Board Blog.
(April 27 2015). Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario.