Union S.T.E.M. and Demonstration School released 130 monarch butterflies during the school’s Monarch in the Park butterfly launch last week.

More than 1,000 students, faculty and members of the community took part in the annual event, which was held at Triple Creek Park in Gallatin on Friday, Sept. 27.

“Our students learn about the life cycle of the monarch butterfly hands-on and they get to see it literally in our hallways as they transform,” Principal Lance Taylor said about the program. “Our kids learn great through textbooks, but this also helps them apply that learning.”

The launch was the conclusion of a six-week educational course where students in kindergarten through fifth grade at the school learned about monarch butterflies through a variety of different music, art and science exercises. 

Following their release, the butterflies began a 1,600-mile migration to Mexico. The entire journey takes about one month to complete. 

Each student at Union Elementary also created their own paper monarch butterfly as part of the project, which will be sent to students in Mexico.

“Each class has their own envelope so they can track it when it’s mailed,” said longtime educator David Collins who started the butterfly launch more than 30 years ago. “In the springtime, they can find out where they’ve gone, and they can actually pull up and see the classroom in Mexico that has them.”

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