Bug Blast at the Burke Museum!
Last Sunday I woke up at 5AM and packed up my trusty car with my arthropod zoo and some bug costumes. I made the three hour drive up to Seattle (after stopping to get coffee- I'm not a robot) to headline Bug Blast at the Burke Museum at the University of Washington. I was hoping Jess would come with me but girl got the flu!!! So I had to Bug Chick alone. But this sunrise I caught outside Kalama, WA was worth the early morning.
Bug Blast is an annual event for families held at the Burke Museum in Seattle. Lots of different organizations come together to make this event a success. Just a few: The Pacific Science Center, the Woodland Park Zoo, Puget Sound Beekeepers, Seattle's Child, League of Scientific Illustrators, and the Scarabs: The Bug Society of Seattle. They brought displays and live animals and educated the public about animals with exoskeletons. I found my people!!!
I taught three lives shows throughout the day but managed to slip out with my microscope and snag a few pictures of the some of the live animals and snap some photos of the event in full swing. Over 1000 people showed up to learn about all things arthropod! I only had 15 minutes on a break but got a good shot of a walking stick and a beautiful tarantula.
One thing that made my day was seeing kids I hand't seen since the last time we headlined Bug Blast back in 2012. The girl on the left of this photo spent her day teaching other kids about insects and arachnids. Her name is Malia and we met her when she was 9 and a serious bugdork.
Now 13, she is a FORCE OF NATURE and is even more of a bugdork than she was before. I was so impressed with her knowledge and enthusiasm that I asked her to assist me with my second show of the day. Love her.
I also got to meet a few fans during my last show. We took a serious picture- but we also took a Bug Chicks classic. These girls had grasshoppers and caterpillars in plastic vials around their necks. If the kids I met and taught at Bug Blast are the future of entomology, STEM, education- heck anything- then I have hope.
This next week I am off to the International Congress of Entomology! I'm speaking at a symposium about the vital role of science communication and outreach and teaching with my Celestron microscopes at an Insect Expo that is open to the public. I'm also going to soak up some sun in Orlando while I'm there. Follow us on Twitter for updates!