What is the School Malaise Trap Program?

Since 2013, the School Malaise Trap Program has teamed up with thousands of students and educators across Canada in order to explore the arthropod diversity found in their schoolyards. The program’s goal is to encourage students to explore, question and understand the world around them – starting with their own schoolyard. 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.

A Malaise Trap, a tent-like apparatus used to collect flying insects, is set up in a school yard during the spring.The School Malaise Trap Program 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 (CBG) at the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario (BIO) where they are analyzed, and a report of the results is sent to each school.

Experience citizen science!

Through hands-on research and inquiry based learning, the School Malaise Trap Program encourages students to become actively engaged citizen scientists – their ongoing efforts contribute valuable data to the International Barcode of Life project. Over 1,200 new species to the Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) have been discovered since this project began!

Interactive map of past School Malaise Trap Program participants!

To view an individual program’s data report(s), please click here.

Discovering Biodiversity in Canada's Schoolyards