Well, the future of entomology is in very good hands! I can say this with some authority as I spent Saturday at the Natural History Museum in London at a meeting of The Bug Club, which is the junior arm of the Amateur Entomologists’ Society.
The Bug Club members are not only enthusaistic and knowledgeable about insects, they are very proficient communicators too, as witnessed by the fascinating presentations they gave – complete with PowerPoint – on a variety of different insect themes, including moths, caterpillars, French insects and the Hairy Footed Flower Bee.
I was astounded by the quality of these presentations, given by children as young as 8 or 9! They were engaging and informative, and I heard every word. I wish I could say the same for all the PowerPoints I have sat through given by grown-ups!
Why was I at this get-together? Well, I was providing the morning ‘edu-tainment’, in the form of an insect-themed Buzzing! show. Followed by an insect-themed poetry workshop in the afternoon.
To inspire our poetry writing in the afternoon, Max Barclay, Collections Manager of the Museum’s Beetle (Coleoptera) and True bug (Hemiptera) collections, brought us in two cases of amazing insects. One was a case of moths and butterflies he himself had collected. The other was a case of beetles, collected in Asia in the 19th-century.
The children’s imaginations were fired by these insects, and they came up with some fabulously vivid poems about them, which they went on to perform to the other Bug Club members and their families.
Judging by their performance, I’d say the future of poetry is in good hands, too!
Thank you to everyone at the AES who was involved in organising such an inspiring day. And to Max Barclay for letting us spend time close up and personal with some of the Natural History Museum’s insect collections!
Oh, and if you’re interested in becoming an entomologist (like Max Barclay), then I recommend reading ‘Working in Entomology’, a fascinating book by 14-year-old Bug Club member Rachel McLeod, which was launched at this Bug Club event!