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Elementary school "teaching"


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So my Biology teacher is going to email all of the elementary schools and see if I can come in and teach about roaches. I have a few questions as I am a TERRIBLE speaker in front of a ton of people.... Anyone have any ideas on how or what I should be talking about? I figure since everyone likes it when a guest brings a demonstration, I would bring in my biggest hissers and a poster for them. If some of the kids are brave enough, I would let them hold them. I am in need of all help and all help will be applied (if it is reasonable). I also would like a "skeleton" basis of what and how all of this should be done!

Thanks in advance!

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OMG that's soooo cool! You're gonna rock their world with your roach knowledge!!!!

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Sounds cool. Also sounds like you got a good plan. :) Just keep it fun and you will do great B) give them facts but keep it fun and you will be like the Bill Nye of Roaches :D Id talk about how only a few speices of roaches really affect humans and the others get a bad rep because of it. Sorry if my spelling and grammer suck. lol

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So my Biology teacher is going to email all of the elementary schools and see if I can come in and teach about roaches. I have a few questions as I am a TERRIBLE speaker in front of a ton of people.... Anyone have any ideas on how or what I should be talking about? I figure since everyone likes it when a guest brings a demonstration, I would bring in my biggest hissers and a poster for them. If some of the kids are brave enough, I would let them hold them. I am in need of all help and all help will be applied (if it is reasonable). I also would like a "skeleton" basis of what and how all of this should be done!

Thanks in advance!

Outreach at elementary schools is a ton of fun :) I'm the outreach coordinator for my entomology program, and I've been doing that sort of thing for 4 years now (actually have to go to an event in an hour lol) and the kids love it. Definitely have one or a few hissers (kids love 'em) and possibly a smaller (or bigger) flashy species that you wouldn't necessarily get out, but you could still talk about. Hissers are an instant hit and once one kid holds/touches it, the rest will crowd around to try to seem "cool" as well.

A lot of this depends on how long your events run. If it's a short event, you may only have time to show off the hissers and let the kids hold/pet one. Since hissers are a pretty solid insect, I usually bring several and will have 2 or 3 out at a time so more kids can be handling and I don't get mobbed. This also decreases the chance of someone missing out on holding/touching the hisser.

In terms of what to talk about, interesting life history facts are always a hit. Making hissers hiss is a huge crowd pleaser, especially if you get close enough to the kids that they can see the hisser expel air. Expect questions on the mites that are crawling around on the hissers, if yours have any. Point out interesting features on the hissers (males having horns, where the eyes are, the purpose of the cercae on the end of the abdomen). If you have different species, you can compare them and talk about the differences as well.

If you bring other roaches, you can make the decision based on what you're comfortable with and what you think the kids will like. Elementary school kids like stuff that's big or colorful. B. craniifer are always popular (especially now that Halloween is coming up), as are any of the cave roaches (sorry, I always get those species mixed up). It was such a bummer when our huge male died because kids were always so shocked that a roach could get so large, though their parents usually looked horrified lol. Smaller species that are interesting are Rhyparobia sp. Malaysia because of their somewhat social behavior and nasty odor they produce when disturbed, E. floridana because of the lovely odor they produce when disturbed, L. verrucosa because they're super cute, handleable and have interesting life history traits, any Therea because they are flashy and also cute, etc. I'm sure there are plenty of others, but I'm just going off the top of my head while I try to figure out what to bring from our insectary to our event :)

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Thanks for the insight! I think I am going to bring my largest hisser male and female, maybe a dwarf hisser, and I will bring my male (??) question mark roach

The timing will be roughly 30-45 minutes as I am going during my 5th period class and maybe after school. I remember when I was in 2nd grade, our local zoo (Minnesota Zoo) brought in an armadillo, an African Giant Millipede, and I cant remember the 3rd one. it was a blast!

I wont be teaching in front of a whole grade, I would probably die!!! I would be teaching a class of around 20-40. I think I would let them hold my hisser male (maybe I will bring a couple males) and let them pass him around, while that was happening, I would be talking about where the other species I will bring come from.

before all of that I would explain that only a few species really effect us humans and the others we very seldomly come across.

I think thats a decent base but I also dont want to run out of time, I WANT to have them ask questions!

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I had this as a kid.

Definetly bring in something for them to touch, hissers are good. Mabye emphasize about washing hands after touching. You could say not all cockriaches live in homes like german or american cockroaches. A computer slideshow with pest and colorful exotic roach photos might be worth doing. Also show photo or specimen of blaberus giganteus that will impress too.

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