A fun—and educational—annual project that Flagler Schools’ five elementary schools participate in each year is the Mosquito Sweaters Design Contest in cooperation with the East Flagler Mosquito Control District.

Due to a surge in the mosquito population from flooding caused by hurricanes Ian and Nicole, aerial spraying for mosquitoes in Flagler County has begun. Some may think that with the falling temperatures, mosquitos will die but in reality some simply have gone into hibernation, and they’re actually harder to eliminate than during their active season in the summer. Children might be wondering how mosquitoes survive the winter, and now is the perfect time to shed light on this intriguing natural phenomenon.

Photo credit: Flagler County Schools
Photo credit: Flagler County Schools

The East Flagler Mosquito Control District and Flagler Schools students and teachers participate in this fun program in which elementary school students are invited to design sweaters for mosquitoes in competition with students from other elementary schools in the district.

While students can certainly draw or color the cartoon mosquito, they also are encouraged to think creatively outside the box for the competition, to design their sweater-clad mosquito (perhaps using Legos, crochet or create a 3-D model).

While art classrooms appear the logical place for this fun and educational exercise, it also has a scientific component where students can learn the life-cycle of mosquitoes, how they manage to survive falling temperatures, and more.

The competition kicks off in the fall, and a winner is selected in mid-March.

One of the fun aspects of this competition is that the classroom whose design is selected from among the entries gets a party with goodies and receives a visit from the Mosquito Control District helicopter at the school of the winning design (or nearby, if there is not sufficient clearance for landing on campus grounds). Last year’s winner was Wadsworth Elementary School.