Butterbiker on Mission to Save Monarch Migration Teaches Student - KOAM TV 7

Butterbiker on Mission to Save Monarch Migration Teaches Students How to Help

Joplin, MO -

Joplin is joining with other communities in the nation to help save the monarch butterfly by creating habitat in public parks.
          Today students learned what they can do and why it’s important from a Sara Dykman who calls herself a butterbiker.


 "Flap your wings." Students at Royal Heights elementary do as Sara Dykman said and flap their wings to create the sound of a flock of butterflies. "Do you hear the air?" she asked.

Dykman explained her nickname. "Butterflies fly and I’m a butterbiker. I bike with butterflies."
Dykman is sharing the story of her adventure of cycling surrounded by  monarch butterflies in their migration  from Mexico to Canada and back. Something that's endangered.

She said, “There's monarchs all over the world but this migration which is the only multi-generational, multinational migration, could be erased."
The monarch population has declined eighty percent in the past fifteen years.

Sara taught kids that monarchs lay eggs on milkweed which is food for caterpillars. And something they as students can plant.

Rose Long a second grade student said, "It’s because they are getting less and less of them and you need to help that."

Kindergarten teacher Shanon Cooper praised Dykman’s presentation as engaging the students and relative to their studies.  "We definitely study the life cycle of the butterfly too so I love that she incorporated that into it.
And we bring butterflies in, get caterpillars in the mail and watch them turn into a chrysalis and then we release them into  the wild too. So, I think the  kids can really relate to what shes doing and then what were going to apply in the classrooms.

She also had this to say about Dykman’s program being entertaining.

Absolutely! She kept their attention the whole time  and I liked how she changed it up a lot with kind of funny  pictures. She had signal when to sit still, when to stop, and then got her message across with lots of repetition by having them  repeat (words) and  flap their wings like butterflies. I think she did amazing.

When asked if thats a good way to inspire students. Cooper added, I know  theyre gonna go  home and want to plant milkweed to attract butterflies to their home. And we've even discussed  doing some school projects where we plant milkweed to get the butterflies, the monarchs, to come to our school.  

Students also  learned  about her mobile kitchen on her bicycle, about  sleeping on a blow up mat and the  tent she calls a mansion.

Rose’s reaction was, “I think it’s really cool. She's been traveling far, far far on just a bicycle."

Dykman said one of the biggest challenges for her on her ten thousand mile journey is planning. "I have to guess how many miles I can go with what the winds gonna do, what the weather’s gonna be. I think I’m a few miles shy of the eight thousand mile mark." A long journey with an important message. Dykman stressed, "That the planet is worth saving. And there’s just amazing things. And we have a part to play in that."

 Rose was convinced and said, "I would like to plant like milkweed in our yard cause we have a big garden everywhere around our house. "

Royal Heights has a chimney swift tower for an endangered bird and is  now considering a garden too.


You can follow Dykman on her journey in photos and video on her website beyondthebook.org.

Click here for a link

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