Learning all about insects!

Last week SEEC hosted three classes from John Muir School for a program all about insects! Six SEEC-ers currently in the entomology class planned a fun-filled morning to teach students in grades 2 – 8 about the diversity of insects and various adaptations they have developed during their more than 400 million years on the Earth.

In the first session, students rotated through stations to take up-close looks at insect mouthparts, legs, antennae, and homes. They put their jumping skills to the test in comparison to a grasshopper, which would be able to jump 50 feet if it was a human!  Students dissected insect galls to see if they could find the larvae inside, and took a peek into a paper wasp nest to see how these amazing insects structure their home. They looked through dissecting scopes at beetles and butterflies, and were able to identify the different types of antennae and mouthparts and why they vary from insect to insect.

Caterpillars were just one of the insects the students learned about!
Caterpillars were just one of the insects the students learned about!

In the second room, students used their entomologist skills to observe the similarities and differences between insects, from Rhino beetles to tiny fleas. We discovered that all insects have six legs, antennae, three body regions, and may or may not have wings. Then we talked about all the adaptations that make insects different and help them survive in certain situations. Did you know that more than 1 million different species of insects have been identified and described? But because new species are being discovered every day, scientists predict that there are actually probably more than 3 million different kinds of insects in the world! Students had the opportunity to ‘discover’ their own insect by drawing their own completely unique insect!

Students and SEEC-ers alike had a great time and learned a lot. It was a great opportunity to open our doors to the local community and have some fun sharing our knowledge about insects!

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