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Every year the Carleton University Biology Department hosts its annual Butterfly Show.  During the 9 days leading into the Thanksgiving weekend, over 1300 live exotic butterflies are released into the Nesbitt Biology Building greenhouses.  The public is invited to come visit these beautiful creatures and learn more about them.

The digital educational tool will enable students to learn about the world of butterflies in terms of anatomy, life cycle, habitat, gardening plants that attract butterflies, butterfly farming, frequently asked question about butterflies and what to expect at the Carleton Butterfly Show.

We are looking for lesson ideas for the digital tool that students can do in class before arriving at the Show.

We would like to set up a live feed to the Show of butterflies emerging from their Chrysalis and butterflies flying at the show, and make this accessible through the digital tool.

80% of our visitors are school students and teachers. Engaging with them throughout the year can make their visit more impactful and richer.

Ed Bruggink – Greenhouse Manager

We have: A great space where people of all ages can come and experience a magical time, surrounded by butterflies. For a lot of people in the community, this is the first contact with Carleton University. Every year 10,000 people visit our greenhouse. Last year we had 1200 people just in one day.

We need: We realize that there’s much to learn in 10 days, and because the show is so popular, the lines to get in are long. We want to make that time even more effective and fulfilling. We want kids to come with questions and share what they have learned before their visit.

The impact: We know that there’s much more to learn at the greenhouse, and learning about our butterflies can complement school science curricula, and incite the curiosity and further learning in our community.

Project Timeline


  • Define resources to share

    What kind of information is best to share through the tool

  • Determine the best format

    What is the best way to make it interactive and easily updatable

  • Design prototypes

    Mobile first

  • A/B testing

    Invite people from the community to test different prototypes

  • Soft-launch

    Focus testing with two classes from public schools

  • Launch

    Prior to the 2020 show, we would like to establish a communications and marketing campaign to share the tool


Carleton University
Human Computer Interaction Building
1125 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, ON, K1S 5B6
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