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Second Grade Students Write Letter to the PA Department of Agriculture 

Second grade students in Sara Fridirici's class were outstandingly Collaborative in Action this fall in science class. They lived this tenet of the GA Mission Statement by becoming true “citizen scientists”—everyday citizens who collaborate with trained scientists to advance their research.  

On a nature walk in science class, they observed two praying mantises eating spotted lanternflies on the outside wall of The Annex. They knew that lanternflies are a big problem in Pennsylvania and that they have no natural predators here. Thrilled with and motivated by their scientific discovery, they reached out to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to share the good news. 

2F students were so gratified to hear back from Dr. Ruth Welliver, Director of the Bureau of Plant Industry, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. In her letter, she told them, 'Your skills in knowing how to identify and control a bad insect like the spotted lanternfly, and how to take care of all the good insects around you, will help to keep Pennsylvania’s outdoor world beautiful and strong.' Much to their delight, Dr. Welliver enclosed spotted lanternfly tattoos, paper crowns and activity sheets.  

“Second grade has been learning about predator-prey relationships in science,” said Lower School Science Teacher Lisa. Martin 1760. “Discovering two praying mantises eating these pests was a fantastic teachable moment.” 

Dr. Welliver thanked them for collaborating with her team and invited them to come work with her at the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture in a few years!