The first annual WACF Bug Fest was held in 2015 and brought science alive and outdoors for 275 fourth grade students in Wawasee Community Schools during mid September. Groups of 50-75 students met at the Levinson- LaBrosse Education Center for 2.5 hours.
Students hopped off the bus, observed freshly caught macro-invertebrates (water bugs) and joined in a discussion about watersheds, lakes and pollution. Students used newspaper and vinyl sheets to show how pollutants like oil, toxic waste, soaps, dirt and even animal feces can be harmful to natural water areas. Students simulated rainstorms and created small lakes which collected runoff from each of the various pollutants, represented by food coloring or other non-toxic food items. Students were then walked through a typical lake pollution situation, having students add items like plastic or Styrofoam to the once clean water. Then students were divided into groups to participate in 5 interactive “games” used to teach students about invertebrate anatomy, adaptations, life cycle states and food getting. After the games were over, students gathered back at the Ruddell Pavilion to discuss their results and work on a writing activity provided by the center.