Chrysalis Cam – Using Open Source to Open Minds

The kids in Room 3 had a problem, all of the caterpillars that went into the pupa stage of their metamorphosis were emerging when the students were out of the classroom.

The solution was to setup a laptop with a web camera programmed to take a snapshot of a waiting chrysalis once every minute. These images were stitched together into a time-lapse which captured the butterfly emerging in this video.

Feel free to skip over rest of the content in this article as what is of interest will vary greatly between viewers – but I wanted to present the whole story in one location in case it is useful to others who are studying similar processes.

The Lesson

Before getting into the detail of the ‘how’ the project was done, it was fascinating to watch the kids go through the journey of:

  • Identifying the problem of missing the butterflies emerging
  • Strategising what they could do to overcome the issue
  • Discarding ideas which were unworkable
  • Agreeing on using the computer / webcam
  • Thinking about what other things time-lapse would be useful for

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