Greene County News
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE — Nature Week/Creative Expressions at the Prairies Youth Center aimed to teach children to explore how they could create art from nature, specifically with donated dried insect specimens and art supplies.
It was held June 6-10 at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
During the day, speakers provided an overview of career fields to approximately 30 school age kids that might be interested in becoming entomologists. The kids got to see, touch and take photos of a large rhino beetle pet. They also got to see the food beetles eat – beetle jelly.
There was a barrage of questions from the kids and answers from experts including:
“Does he bite?” “No.” “Can we pick him up?” “No, even though he doesn’t bite, his claws are very sharp.” “Can we eat some of the beetle jelly?” “No. It probably wouldn’t hurt you, because it’s made of fruit juices, seaweed, sugar/fructose.”
The children were divided into three groups, some looking at specimens through a microscope and drawing pictures of different insects; another group made intricate dioramas with insect specimens and a smaller group made an acrylic painting with several specimens.
“The youth really enjoyed seeing all the insects that [were] brought in and learned a lot of interesting facts related to Entomology,” said Joel McKeever, Prairies Youth Center programs assistant.