Bringing Back the Butterflies

A Program of the Los Angeles Unified School District
Division of Educational Services - Mathematics and Science

Elementary Science
Brandyn Scully, Teacher


"...wherever they lead me is where I am willing to go..."

And so it goes for Brandyn Scully, a teacher and butterfly chaser who is presenting science at its best in the eyes of the children at Second Street Elementary School. She is talking about students who pass through her garden every day, "just like butterflies themselves. Wherever they lead me," she says, "is where I am willing to go.

"We are creating a habitat," says an enthusiastic Ms. Scully, who has high hopes for what it will mean to her students in the future. "We hope to bring thirty-two species of butterflies into the garden." Ms. Scully's students are learning how to care for plants and animals; seeing how important insect populations are and understanding their roles in gardens.

"The butterflies are so beautiful and the flowers are so beautiful ­ the two of them together are a powerful mix," she continues. "The most important aspect of this project is teaching the students to understand and respect their environment. We want them to see the beauty and complexity of a garden, and the butterflies have become an inspirational tool. As we learn about these inter-dependencies, we gain valuable knowledge in using tools, and understanding cycles, as caretakers of the earth.

"I didn't think I could teach the students to 'net' butterflies, but I was wrong - the kids are sensitive and careful. I'm hoping that they will arrive at high school, looking under microscopes, focusing, talking about structure and function ... I know that somewhere out here, there is at least one future scientist. You know it!"

Ms. Scully believes that "the most compelling aspect is the idea of saving species of butterflies for future generations. If students learn the importance of creating and protecting habitats," she says, "they are likely to continue in this mission."

At the very least, Brandyn Scully hopes this will be something her students "are going to want to do when they grow up ...put a garden in their house, plant a garden for their children, or look for gardens all around the city - go visit gardens. You know," she says, "it can only bring goodness."

For more information, contact Nonnie Korten, Science Resource Teacher (818) 762-1156 Los Angeles Unified School District, Division of Educational Services - Mathematics and Science

333 S. Beaudry, 25th Floor, 151-9 Los Angeles, CA 90017 Phone (213) 241-6420 Fax (213) 241-8469