The arthropod zoo at Bug Bash: Student roles in public outreach
Nicholas P Aliano, firstname.lastname@example.org, University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Department of Entomology, 202 Plant Industry Building, Lincoln, NE and Alex P. Cunningham, email@example.com, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Department of Entomology, 202 Plant Industry Building, Lincoln, NE.
The University of Nebraska Entomology Department hosts an annual outreach event called Bug Bash at a local zoo. It is attended by over 1000 area elementary students and their teachers and involves over 50 area high school student volunteers. Graduate students and faculty host individual exhibits involving various aspects of entomology: forensics, art, predator-prey interactions, apiculture, fly-tying, edible insects, and a cockroach race. A new addition last year was an arthropod zoo exhibit which was very popular with visitors. This exhibit was led by a graduate student who trained high school volunteers to present various sections of the exhibit to visitors. The exhibit included aquatic and terrestrial insects and various non-insect arthropods. Allowing children to have a guided close encounter with living arthropods provides entomologists with an excellent opportunity: to arouse fascination and dispel fear in the public at a crucial age of developing understanding of the natural world.
Species 1: Coleoptera Hydrophilidae Species 2: Coleoptera Dytiscidae Species 3: Hemiptera Nepidae