The entomology graduate students do a variety of outreach events throughout the year. From science fairs to classroom activities (all ages) to booths at fairs -- we do it all! We can talk on a variety of topics, including insect behavior, insect defenses, evolution, physiology, bio-inspiration, and even entomophagy (eating insects)!
Please ask as far in advance as possible as our group receives many requests and our schedules fill up quickly during fall and spring semesters.
The two annual events held locally that we organize and participate in are the Insect Fear Film Festival (February) and National Pollinator Week (June).
As of July 2013, our petting zoo currently includes: Madagascar hissing cockroaches (Gromphadorhina portentosa), Chilean rose hair tarantula (Grammostola rosea), blue death feigning beetles (Asbolus verrucosus), warty glow spot cockroaches (Lucihormetica verrucosa), ghost mantis (Phyllocrania paradoxa), and many more.
We absolutely appreciate donations (suggested $1 per person) as we do this on a volunteer basis and our bugs get hungry! If money isn't a possibility, apples, lettuce, and potatoes are always appreciated!
Top left: Cecil our friendly rose-hair tarantula.
Top right: A youngster holds a big lubber grasshopper.
Bottom left: Katherine face paints a child.
Bottom right: A giant cave roach being shown to curious onlookers.
Please contact the current outreach coordinators for more information or to book us for an event.
Josh Gibson: jcgibso2 (at) illinois.edu
Michael Wong: mjwong2 (at) illinois.edu