Most people, especially adults, aren’t what you would call “fond” of the insects that share this planet with us. Many people even develop sever phobias involving insects. While this negative association to insects is difficult to change in adults that have already had a lifetime of bad experiences to shore up their dislike and hatred for insects, children are still young, with their brains still developing. They are much more open to new experiences and to learning to like something like an insect, even if they were afraid to them touch before. Because of this, educating children about insects while they are young helps curb that fear of insects and better understand the world around them, the importance of taking care of it, and how humans effect our environment and fellow creatures, including scary insects that are incredibly important to our delicate ecosystem. Salinas Public Libraries are holding summer activities for children and adults to enjoy, one of them being the Insect Discovery Lab, which takes place on Mondays.
The Salinas Public Libraries’ summer activities take place at both Cesar Chavez Library and John Steinbeck Library. The Insect Discovery Lab is being operated by the nonprofit group called Save Nature, which goes around schools and libraries to hold fun events like this one and promote awareness about our fragile ecosystem, and encourage participation in preserving it. These events help encourage children to take an interest and better understand things such as environmental issues. Of course, they try to do this while making the experience fun and peaking their interest in science, opening a gateway for further learning and demonstrating that science can be fun, and that there are many different areas of science that someone can develop a passion for. Jonathan Ye, an education specialist at Save Nature, said, “It’s not just about helping the world, we’re helping each other.”
While the children sometimes get scared when they bring out the beetles, the first insects they introduce to the children, they become much more comfortable and curious as they learn about more insects. Joelle Dugay, an educator with Save Nature, says that it is usually the Walking Stick insects that become the favorite of the children.
Would you take your child to an event like this that involved live insects?