From the mouths of babes…

If you ever really want to test your skills, go into a third grade class room and present about your passion. A group of inquisitive 8-year-old kids can reduce even the most hardened field biologist to rubble. There is simply nothing more fun or rewarding than sharing biodiversity with kids – and it may be the most important activity given the state of natural history education in our nation.

Normally, I go into a classroom setting armed with four stations and three helpers (yeah, we make the teacher work too). We try having a cage of live insects collected within a half mile of the school, all life stages of at least one insect, and two Cornell drawers full of gee whiz bugs. This is big fun – it is awesome to leave a classroom of kids buzzing about insects.

The event depicted only happened once, but it was a magnificent question. I didn’t go into R and K selection, rarity, focused collection vs. backyard bug lights, documentation, or anything else – the question was pure and the answer this kid was seeking went far beyond my activities. As long as our schools produce kids who can ask good questions, the future will be in good hands.

Enjoy the comic: really happened, but everything is changed.Murder

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5 thoughts on “From the mouths of babes…

  1. Pingback: Biologist in the Classroom « Conservation Seeding & Restoration Inc. Blog

  2. Steve Bouffard

    Hard question to address honestly! You really do need specimens to get your message across. While working at Minidoka National Wildlife Refuge I always got this question when speaking to younger students. We used mounted specimens for smaller species and tanned skins for larger mammals. I said they died naturally or were road kills!

    Reply
    1. biologistsoup Post author

      I couldn’t get away with the old road kill game with insects (or pressed plants). Sometimes you just have to admit that by some (many?) standards I am a bad person and move on: I am an insect killer and plant presser. The amazing thing with children it isn’t full of hypocrisy like it is with adults – they are really trying to understand the world.

      Reply
  3. Pingback: From the mouths of babes 2… | biologistsoup

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