Insects, kids and science outreach!

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Yesterday, we headed down to Richmond Nature Park for their first annual Bugs Galore! event. This was a fun opportunity to introduce the public, particularly children, to the wonders of insects and other arthropods. When you have a roomful of kids meeting some pretty cool bugs, magic happens!

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kids of all ages showed up, and most were wide awake…

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The leaf insects got quite a workout, and the kids loved handling them.

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Although some adults were more wary!

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Catherine brought male and female black widows, as well as some false black widows.

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The Reptile Guy, Mike Hopcraft brought some awesome tarantulas, amblypygids (tailless whip scorpions) and scorpions. Here Catherine gets up close with Gretchen.

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Most folks were happy to have a close spider encounter…

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but some less so!

When people asked Mike (the Reptile Guy) “why doesn’t the spider bite you?” he replied “why would she?”. Catherine also surprised a lot of folks by telling them that black widows are not aggressive and hardly ever bite.

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A great educational display was a female black widow, into whose cage we introduced this male. Over the course of several hours he courted and copulated.

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Which was awesome!

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What time is it? Amblypygid time!

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The Reptile Guy doing his thing!

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We got to talk to all kinds of people about science and bugs.

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Tanya introduced visitors to some of the major common insect orders

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We had about 750 people come through, most of whom stayed for quite a while.

Many thanks to Emily Toda at the Richmond Nature Park and all the great volunteers for making this event so awesome!

With so many cool insect/kid encounters going on, I had better just truncate this post with a slideshow. If you would like to see some of these in larger size, try my flickr page.

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2 thoughts on “Insects, kids and science outreach!

  1. Pingback: Expiscor (9 September 2013) | Arthropod Ecology

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