Vol 117 (2004): Proceedings of the Florida State Horticultural Society
Ornamental, Garden & Landscape

Teaching entomology to youth through a bug's life summer camp

Juanina S. Neal
University of Florida
Published December 1, 2004


The 4-H Bug-A-Boo Camp focused on entomology, providing each day camper with the materials needed to collect, preserve, identify, and pin specimens. Each camper developed an insect collection and identified each specimen according to order. Each day was selected as an insect "order" day (Monday - Coleoptera, Tuesday - Diptera, etc.) and tied into the day's activities. The curriculum included basic entomology, a game "All in Order", the "How do Insects Grow" activity, a behind the scenes tour of Epcot's The Land Insectory and planting a butterfly garden at a State Park. It's a Bug's Life Jeopardy game was a fun way to measure knowledge gain. This program allowed 21 campers to learn about the natural and man-made habitats that their collections were gathered in. An evaluation tool was designed and mailed out to each parent to evaluate their child's knowledge gain and to provide suggestions for improvements in the camp. 100% of respondents (7/7) indicated an increase in knowledge of entomology. 75% of respondents also stated that the children where continuing their interest after camp. The camp participants rated most of the activities as "cool or way cool" through the same evaluation tool that was sent to the parents.