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Cloquet Middle School students present at 2014 Monarch Insect Fair

Cloquet students participating in the Monarch Insect Fair this year are Gabrielle Napper (back row, from left), Morgan Walsh, Brandi Nelson, Payten Schneberger, Tamara Martineau, Samantha Seboe, Allie Wojtysiak, Morgan Smith, Ryan Fredrickson, Hannah Baker, Claire Taubmann, and Makalaeh Kneisel; and (front row, from left) Dylan Beck, Maddy Turk, Madelyn Garza, Maddison Rice, MacKenzie Brummer, Darren Sayers, Shawnee Ammesmaki, Emily Peacock and (not pictured) Alyssa Strand. Contributed Photo

Story submitted by Cynthia Welsh, EdD, Cloquet Science Teacher and NE MN Regional Science Fair Director

On Dec. 7, 21 Cloquet Middle School students attended the Monarch Insect Fair at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus, along with their science research teachers Cynthia Welsh and Cynthia Edwardson.

Claire Taubmann, a seventh-grader, received the Best Question Award for her project titled “Paper or Plastic Microparticles, ma’am?: What effect do plastic microparticles, found in the Great Lakes, have on Orchenectes immunis, a brown freshwater crayfish’s appetite and behavior?” 

Three projects received the Best Overall Project Award: Darren Sayers, a seventh-grader, and his project titled “Mealworm Go-round! What effect does centrifugal force have on mealworm growth?”; Payten Schneberger and MacKenzie Brummer, both seventh-graders, and their project titled “Ultra-violet Attraction: What effect does ultraviolet light and color have on monarch growth and preference?”; Ryan Fredrickson, an eighth-grader, and his project titled “How do olfactory cues affect the response of Coenobita perlatus when confronted with challenges, such as how to locate a predator, prey, a mate, and refuge?” Fredrickson was given special assistance from Cloquet alumni Logan Pallin, a senior at Duke University majoring in environmental science and policy.  

Also presenting their research projects at the fair were nine seventh-graders: Shawnee Ammesmaki, Emily Peacock, Alyssa Strand, Madelyn Garza, Makalaeh Kneisel, Maddison Rice, Maddy Turk and Allie Wojtysiak. The following eight eighth-graders also presented: Hannah Baker, Dylan Beck, Samantha Seboe, Tamara Martineau, Gabrielle Napper, Brandi Nelson, Morgan Smith and Morgan Walsh.

Adrianna Pollak, Cloquet High School senior, as well as Cloquet alumni Preston Jackson (Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College) and Alec Lamirande (University of Minnesota Duluth) volunteered at the fair.

The Monarchs in the Classroom Insect Fair (formerly called the “Monarch Fair”) is based on a Science Fair model, with many of the projects centered on monarch butterflies. The Insect Fair encourages students to engage in all steps of the research process, including the important final step of data presentation. Visit for more information.

Participation in the Monarch Insect Fair is supported by Cloquet Public Schools and the Cloquet Educational Foundation with funding assistance from the Minnesota Power Foundation, with special assistance from Holly Pellerin, director of the Manoomin Project, funded through the National Science Foundation and the University of Minnesota’s Geoscience Alliance’s Diversity Director Diana Dalbotten and