Michigan Fifth Graders Push to Make Stonefly Official State Insect

A class of fifth-grade students at Aberdeen Academy in Grand Rapids, Michigan, led by teacher Emma Witkovsky, are advocating for the stonefly to become the official state insect, highlighting its crucial role in Michigan's ecosystem and water quality, with their efforts resulting in the introduction of House Bill 5563 to the Michigan legislature." This description focuses on the primary topic of the students' initiative to designate the stonefly as the official state insect, the main entities involved (the students, teacher, and legislature), and the context of Michigan's ecosystem and water quality. It also mentions the significant action of the introduction of House Bill 5563, which will help guide the AI in generating an accurate visual representation of the article's content.

Aqsa Younas Rana
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Michigan Fifth Graders Push to Make Stonefly Official State Insect

Michigan Fifth Graders Push to Make Stonefly Official State Insect

A class of fifth graders at Aberdeen Academy in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is on a mission to make the stonefly the official state insect. Led by their teacher, Emma Witkovsky, the students discovered that Michigan is one of only two states without a designated state insect. Determined to change that, they chose the stonefly due to its crucial role as a food source for Michigan's state fish, the brook trout.

Why this matters: This initiative highlights the importance of environmental education and student-led activism in promoting conservation efforts. By designating the stonefly as the official state insect, Michigan can raise awareness about the need to protect its waterways and ecosystems.

The students took a hands-on approach to learn about stoneflies, taking a field trip to Honey Creek at Seidman Park in Ada. There, they studied the insects up close and collected water samples to assess the creek's water quality. Stoneflies are not only an important food source for brook trout but also serve as an indicator of clean water.

To make their case, all 18 fifth graders in Witkovsky's class wrote compelling five-paragraph essays. "I was blown away," Witkovsky said of the students' work. "I was so proud of them. I couldn't stop grinning from ear to ear, just because they put so much time and effort into it." The essays were sent to State Rep. Rachel Hood, D-Grand Rapids, who was impressed by the students' dedication and introduced House Bill 5563 to officially designate the stonefly as Michigan's state insect.

The bill is currently awaiting a hearing by the Natural Resources, Environment, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation Committee. Rep. Hood hopes the bill will pass the committee and the House by the end of the school year. For the students, seeing their hard work potentially become law is a thrilling prospect. "It would mean very much to me," said fifth grader Mitz. "We worked super hard on it. Random people are proud of us."

This is not the first time a Michigan class has helped name a state animal. In 1995, a fifth-grade class from Niles played a key role in naming the painted turtle as the state's official reptile. Witkovsky believes this experience has taught her students a valuable lesson about their potential to make a difference. "I've learned not to doubt students ever," she said. "Because they will far surpass any expectation when you let them. "

As the bill progresses through the legislative process, the Aberdeen Academy fifth graders eagerly await the outcome of their efforts. Their dedication to making the stonefly Michigan's official state insect highlights the importance of this often-overlooked creature and demonstrates the power of student-led initiatives to create meaningful change.

Key Takeaways

  • MICH 5th graders push to make stonefly official state insect.
  • Stonefly crucial food source for MI state fish, brook trout.
  • Students' efforts highlight importance of environmental education.
  • House Bill 5563 introduced to designate stonefly as state insect.
  • Students' hard work may lead to law, teaching valuable lesson.