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Ky. students will track butterflies

LOUISA — Some northeast Kentucky students are joining others from several states, Canada and Mexico in a project to track and report the migratory patterns of monarch butterflies and hummingbirds.

The project will incorporate studies in multiple disciplines, including science, math, social studies, reading, writing and art.

The youngsters from Fallsburg Elementary School in Lawrence County will report their findings to Journey North, a global study funded by Annenberg Media, according to Fallsburg principal James Lester.

The global project links hundreds of classrooms to study species migration and improve education.

A $38,000 HP Technology for Teaching grant is providing computers, software and cash so the Kentucky students can take part in the study, Lester said.

Five Fallsburg teachers will work with students grades 3 through 5 on the study.

Students will work on the study throughout the school year, said science teacher Dara Moran. The students also will work to improve habitats for butterflies and hummingbirds.

Monarch larvae feed on milkweed, and students will work to propagate the plant locally, she said. The computer gear will allow Fallsburg to link with other schools and share information, including maps of their findings, Moran said.

She says she hopes the project will illustrate to students the real-life value of academic studies.

”Usually kids don't make that connection,“ she told The (Ashland) Independent newspaper. ”They ask, why am I learning this, and then later in their lives they realize they should have been listening.“