by Hinal Kharva – As a part of Vivriti School’s summer camp, kids got a chance to explore their curiosities on an insect walk at the National Center for Biological Sciences. As soon as they arrived, we could see that their tiny eyes had many questions; “where to look for insects?”, “where do they live?”, “what do they eat?”, “Do all insects bite?”
NICE lab members shared our knowledge about insects’ lifecycles, their habitat, their feeding habits, etc. We also helped children to find insects on campus and gave a task to collect insects from different places. They collected some beautiful butterflies, grasshoppers, bugs, ants, bees, and wasps to name a few. Everytime they found a new insect, they ran to us, asked about the name, and observed its behavior for a while. Children showed kindness towards insects by releasing them back unharmed. Other than solitary insects, kids also learned about honeybees and their colonies in the wild. Here, they learned how social insects live together, and how they collect nectar and pollen from flowers.
At the end, they visited the NICE lab and their excitement was incredible after seeing a small collection of preying mantises, ladybugs, oak moths, hoverflies, and Tephritid fruit flies. They had an opportunity to use a simple microscope to observe how different butterflies carry different patterns on their wings. They were amazed to see under the microscope for the first time. As their curiosity and questions never ended, we tried our best to satisfy their inquisitiveness.
It was really a wonderful, interactive and fun time with the kids. We are thankful to Emily Taylor, Jyotsna Arun and Archana Shetty for organizing this event with us!