Tobacco hornworm Larva
This activity is a great way for students to experience an insect that goes through complete metamorphosis first hand. Also, since this is a pest species, students often comment about how much the hornworm eats the larger it gets, which is why they can become such pests! In the "lab" or "home" setting for the student experiments, the hornworms are fed an artificial diet, so no tobacco, tomato, or other plants are harmed in this process!
To learn more about rearing hornworms, check out this great video. This shows the supplies that the students use with their hornworm pet. All in all a very interesting project, although since I am a mantis, I wish they were being reared for my lunch!