In order to study the evolutionary history of quinone biosynthesis in carabids we will infer the phylogenetic history of candidate gene families and the tree topology and branch lengths will be analyzed to test whether genes are ancient and shared among taxa, or if gene diversification is recent and specific to certain lineages. We will test the hypothesis that the genes up-regulated in secretory cells during quinone synthesis are closely related to those involved in quinone production in arthropod cuticle. Thus the project will empirically address the well-known, but untested, scenario of how the bombardier beetle evolved its explosive defense abilities. With the bombardier beetle as a model, the project will help develop elementary school level lesson plans on topics in chemical ecology and biological chemical defense evolution that will reinforce the Next Generation Science Standards. Additional outreach materials will be produced including a high-quality children’s book and web-based resources will be produced that target the prevalent misinformation about bombardier beetle evolution found online.