Available year round.
Raise your own colony of these amazing little backyard critters - actually not bugs, but tiny land crustaceans which breath through gills! Also called the rolie-polie, wood louse, doodle bug and potato bug, these fascinating arthropods are extremely simple to feed and maintain, guaranteed to reproduce in captivity with ease, and make a fantastic and interesting addition to any classroom! They eat common household veggies and fruits like apple cores and lettuce, so they make a fantastic in-class addition to the grade school unit Waste In Our World.
Available year round.
Red Wiggler Worms (Eisenia fetida) are one of the best indoor composters there are. Compact, efficient, and odorless, they provide an excellent in-classroom enrichment project for a vermiculture unit such as Waste And Our World. They are also popular for use in homes to efficiently recycle your kitchen plant waste into a nutrient-rich organic fertilizer called vermicast, or worm castings. Worm fertilizer is a fantastic soil conditioner and proven to be lower in contaminants and higher in saturation of nutrients than plant compost alone - and can be used in houseplants or your garden. Worms are low-maintenance, cost effective, and earth friendly. All you need is an opaque box with ventilation to house your worms in, and a little bit of patience to get the worm castings out. Full instructions included.
Red wiggler worms cannot be released outdoors.
Praying mantis are ONLY available from March to May as quantities last.
Praying Mantis are amazing little predators, and perfect for backyard pest control or as an indoor observation and educational tool. You will receive your Mantis as an ootheca - also called an egg case - which contain anywhere from 50 to 400 eggs. We do not sell adult mantis or mantis by themselves. Though not native, the Chinese mantis (Tenodera sinensis) is approved for release nationwide so once your project is finished you can release them directly into your garden or naturescape if you desire.
Praying Mantis are effective predators of certain farm and garden pests. They will not naturally survive the winter (without assistance from you), so they will not out-compete our native predators for their food. Watch them hatch from tiny eggs and grow over 700 times their original size within just a few weeks! They will live about 8 months in captivity if they are well taken care of, and much less so in the wild. The pests they eat are related to body size, so be aware that you still need to encourage your native pest control such as ladybugs, wasps, and spiders, if you want a balanced ecosystem in your garden.
This is a less predictable project than some of the other living science animals, because ootheca can take up to 10 weeks to hatch (the longest we have on record is 14 weeks!). Please plan for a long wait.
They are VORACIOUS eaters at a young age, so if you intend to keep them indoors, you need to provide them with food: we sell flightless fruit fly cultures separately, which are a quick, easy and clean way to keep your baby Mantis fed.
Praying mantis can be released across Canada south of the arctic circle, though they will not survive the winter.
Just add water! Triops are actual prehistoric creatures that have not changed in over 200 million years. Considered "living fossils," these make an excellent side project for your classroom or at home, or anywhere you can keep a small aquarium. Just fill your container with bottle spring water, and watch them grow from near invisibility into 2-inch aquatic critters!
Your kit will contain Triop eggs, food, instructions, and everything you need to raise them. Life cycle experiments can be repeated and completed by adjusting temperature and light levels.
Bees are ONLY available the week of May 16. We do sell out in advance, so please order early.
Mason and Leafcutter bees are just two of the roughly 4,000 species of bees native to North America. These, like many others found in Alberta, do not form hives and raise their offspring in solitude. Solitary bees are expert pollinators who outperform European Honeybees when it comes to pollination, as they are adapted to our climate and seasonal weather changes. Mason Bees are one of the earliest bees to appear in the spring, showing up just when the first buds are on the apple trees. Leafcutter bees are a summer bee, becoming active in June-July.
Our pollinators are in trouble - help by release bees in your yard, orchard or garden to boost native populations. Provide housing and shelter places for these wild animals, and you will find your garden will thank you. These bees will seamlessly integrate back into their natural habitat, helping to boost existing populations and diversify gene pools. Add to the experience by providing safe and secure locations for them to produce offspring.
Other Living Science Projects
Enrich your classroom, home, or children`s life with some of our fascinating projects designed to connect you with your environment.
Praying Mantis - Red Wiggler Worms - Mason & Leafcutter Bees - Isopods