The Caterpillar Lab fosters greater appreciation and care for the complexity and beauty of our local natural history through live caterpillar educational programs, research initiatives, and photography and film projects. We believe that an increased awareness of one’s local environment is the foundation on which healthy and responsible attitudes towards the broader natural systems of this world is built.

© 2015 CATERPILLAR LAB INC.  With original artwork by Heather Reid and Samuel Jaffe

 

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PRESS AND TESTIMONIALS

We've hosted the Caterpillar Lab twice at our museum. It’s a rare educational experience that engages all audiences and engages experts as well as novices. The caterpillars are amazing, and what makes everything work so well is the Caterpillar Lab staff’s ability to engage with people. They do a great job of helping people connect to the animals and answering questions at any level. What’s more is the discovery people make that the animals are all around us, here in New England!

Sherlock Terry, Assistant Exhibits Director, Montshire Museum of Science

Norwich, VT

The Caterpillar Lab staff are knowledgeable and excited about their field, and love to share with the public! Kids and adults alike love to explore hands on!  When we first got there, Aluna wouldn't go near the caterpillars and she'd jump away, but within 10-15 minutes, she was investigating them under the microscope and saying they're cool. She may not be comfortable enough to hold them, but I think she's learned that caterpillars are pretty neat critters. That's what The Caterpillar Lab is about.

Erika Bingham Fassett, Visitor to TCL Open Hours

Keene, NH​

The Caterpillar Lab has an overwhelming diversity of local caterpillar species that reveal an amazing wealth of adaptations and behaviors, but what really makes the Caterpillar Lab outstanding is their staff involvement with visitors. Caterpillar Lab staff are wonderfully knowledgeable and skillfully pull visitors to look closer at these animals and their amazing life histories - while meeting all visitors at their ability level. Every visitor leaves feeling that not only did they get to see caterpillars, but that they got a personal and up close introduction to these suddenly fascinating creatures.

Rebecca Haynes, Science Educator and Lead Explainer, Montshire Museum of Science

Norwich, VT

Wandering around waiting for a table to open in the restaurant downstairs, we discovered The Caterpillar Lab. Our 7 year old daughter has been collecting caterpillars and various other insects for the last 4 years...caterpillars are her absolute favorite. Although they were not opening until 5/3/15, Sam was kind enough to open up and let us take a look at his work. He spoke about what he was doing, what happens at the Caterpillar Lab, and his own love of these nifty bugs. My daughter was in love. He was also kind enough to give us two cocoons to bring home. This place is so cool!

After we left, my daughter says, "Momma, Dad...I want to live and work there..." For us, that says it all. Thanks so much, Sam for letting us in & showing us all the amazing stuff going on at the Caterpillar Lab. We will see you very soon!

Lisa Bishop, TCL Open Hours visitor

Deerfield, MA

Our visits from the Caterpillar Lab were a highlight for our campers this summer.  The team worked with us to develop caterpillar stations that connected to each camp group’s focus, and our staff and campers were entranced by the variety of adaptations and life strategies they saw.  The kids loved the opportunity to get close to and even touch some of the caterpillars in their small groups, and our staff of teacher naturalists was impressed by Liz and Jesse’s expertise and ability to connect with the campers.

Carrie Webster, Youth Programs Coordinator & Assistant Camp Director, Drumlin Farm Audubon

Lincoln, MA

Your work inspires awe. Awe leads to care and concern. Adults and children who care will be motivated to protect the nature of Massachusetts. Your deep knowledge and love of caterpillars and your desire to share this knowledge makes you uniquely qualified to carry out this project. This project will take significant resources... We encourage anyone who cares about the nature of New England to contribute to your work and to the important task of creating a new generation of people who love nature and work to protect it.

Kristin Steinmetz, Outreach Coordinator, Broad Meadow Brook Audubon Sanctuary

Worcester, MA

A terrific inspiration and starting point for families as they begin to explore the natural world together;  the live demonstrations… provide an up-close and personal view of these common yet fascinating caterpillars…  enthusiasm is bound to infect our visitors and may well guide their next outdoor adventure.

Alissa Daniels, Science Program Manager, Boston Children's Museum

Boston, MA

Sam Jaffe’s Caterpillar Lab is a wonderful presentation.  Being able to see so many diverse caterpillars close-up was the initial attraction, but then the added facilitation and interpretation provided Sam and his staff so added to the visitor’s experience and knowledge.  It is an educational treat for young and old!

Amy VanderKooi, Science Program Manager, the Montshire Museum

Norwich, VT

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January 01, 2020

NH Chronicle on The Caterpillar Lab

NH Chronicle profiled The Caterpillar Lab a few years ago.  This piece really got the word out about the lab in NH!  Thank you to Chronicle for doing such a great piece on us!

August 15, 2015

WCAX Burlington News Story 2015

Sunday Science: Caterpillar Lab visits Montshire

 

"Well, I've been doing caterpillars since I was about four years old. My parents would find caterpillars crawling across the kitchen floor, didn't know where they came from until they found that I was smuggling them in from the backyard," he says.

June 19, 2015

Hartford Courant Article 2015

The Caterpillar Lab Visits Hartford Area Biodiversity Camp

 

The public is invited to experience "Caterpillars of New England," a unique program of living animals produced by Sam Jaffe and his crew from The Caterpillar Lab, on Friday, June 26th from 10am to 2pm at the Two Rivers Magnet Middle School in East Hartford. 

August 12, 2015

Antioch University New England Article 2015

Antioch University New England Announces New Collaboration with The Caterpillar Lab

 

Antioch University New England (AUNE) announces a new collaboration with The Caterpillar Lab (TCL), a nonprofit program that features native New England caterpillars in educational programs, research initiatives, photography and film projects. Executive Director Sam Jaffe launched The Caterpillar Lab while a graduate student at AUNE through a Kickstarter campaign to foster greater appreciation of the natural world.

July 10, 2015

The Guardian Newspaper Atricle 2015

Caterpillars: close-up of a very clever disguise

 

Samuel Jaffe and his digital camera have entered an insect world where things are not what they first appear

August 06, 2014

Mass Mom's Telegram Interview 2014

A conversation with Sam Jaffe of The Caterpillar Lab

 

Sam Jaffe is currently touring New England with his educational caterpillar exhibit, and will soon be at several locations near Worcester this month. We talked with him about his background and the colorful creatures he shares with the public.

August 06, 2013

Keene Sentinel Article 2013

Antioch student’s aim is to educate -- about caterpillars

 

In a small room on the third floor of a downtown Keene building, there’s a world of creepy-crawlies that boggles the mind and inspires wonder.  This is the caterpillar lab...

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