Butterfly resources for programs and exhibits

Catherine McCarthy, Science Museum of Minnesota
blue morpho butterfly

The NISE Network has created a variety of resources about butterflies that are great for integrating into programs or exhibits about butterflies. These activities and resources focus on light, color, iridescence, pigmentation versus structural color, and technology inspired by nature. 

Poster / Graphics

  • Butterfly wing poster
    This illustration shows a butterfly's wing across ten orders of magnitude, from the butterfly to the atoms of which it is made.


  • Zoom into a Blue Morpho Butterfly video (with and without narration)
    Zoom into the natural nanostructures that manipulate light on a Blue Morpho Butterfly! Starting with a normal digital camera, we zoom into the wing of the Blue Morpho using more powerful microscopes. We see the wing underneath an optical microscope, and finally, a scanning electron microscope. You'll see the 200 nanometer structures that produce the beautiful blue iridescent color of the Blue Morpho.
  • Butterfly Blues Mr. O video
    Mr. O talks about iridescence and Blue Morpho butterflies in another "O Wow" moment at the Children's Museum of Houston.

Hands-on activities

Classroom activity


Scientific Images

Online workshop recording