This page is dedicated to educational materials that I've developed on general insect biology.
Working in an Entomology Department is an excellent opportunity to develop outreach materials on insect diversity. I organized a BugZoo Activity for three years for Expanding Your Horizons, which is an annual conference aimed at providing hands-on experience with STEM fields to 7th - 9th grade girls. I also led an interactive presentation on insect diversity in elementary schools in the Ithaca area as part of the Naturalist Outreach Program. Additionally, I gave several presentations at the Ithaca Sciencenter as part of their 'Showtime' and summer camp programs. I have also spoken to large audiences about insect diversity through participating in Cornell Entomology's booth at the New York State Fair as part of the 4-H Youth Exhibits as well as Empire Farm Days through Cornell Cooperative Extension. I have even led a night walk at the Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve located on the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas.
I have three main goals for my insect diversity outreach program:
1) To highlight the exceptional diversity of insects, particularly in regard to their feeding preferences and their use of microhabitats
2) To showcase the similarities and differences of insect morphology across major groups of insects
3) To illustrate the importance of the phenomenon of metamorphosis in insects
I have developed several types of materials to achieve these goals, which can be downloaded below. I have developed an Insect Presentation Guide that should provide sufficient background information to complete the activities that I designed. I designed an Insect Word Search, a Classification Activity, and a Build a Bug Activity to highlight insect diversity. Additionally I designed an Insect Picnic Activity to showcase the diversity of insect feeding strategies.
I created an Insect Morphology Poster to show all the major insect body parts on a generalized insect. I then developed Insect Colouring Sheets to familiarize students with how the same structures look very different in diverse insect groups. I also developed worksheets highlighting the different adaptations of insect legs and insect mouthparts.
I created a Metamorphosis Poster showing the different stages of both simple and complete metamorphosis. The Metamorphosis Activity that I designed introduces students to the life cycle of insects. I am currently developing a game that will showcase both the dangers and adaptive value inherent in metamorphosis.
Bugs, Bugs, and More Bugs!
Additionally, I integrate my pet insects into my outreach efforts. Click to learn more about the BugZoo.
Outreach Materials to Download