Bug Blitz Opportunities in Science

25 November

veski innovation fellow Dr Gareth Forde has some diverse scientific interests from green algae to DNA but he had his work cut out for him recently when he took time out from his busy research schedule to encourage some Victorians students about opportunities in science – while they were checking out some most unusual ‘bugs’.

In fact they were taking part in a ‘Bug Blitz”. The Narmbool Bug Blitz is a three-day outdoor education program led by a team of scientists and educators working alongside students. Victorian students investigate biodiversity ‘hot spots’ in Narmbool (near Ballarat) and collect, describe, record and compare the living and non-living things in that spot!

Dr Forde joined the scientists and students at the end of a long Bug Blitz day to explain his work and the opportunities for secondary school students in a career in science.

A large group of Year 9 students from three schools had some interesting questions for our highly successful veski innovation fellow.

“They were really attuned to their environment and socially aware about the concerns of climate change and sustainability, “ said Dr. Forde.

“They posed questions from how soon will we be able to purchase Biofuels in Melbourne to what do we need to do to save our planet?

"This raised many more questions that lead to discussions on the role of animals in our food chain... definitely some budding scientists on the way!

“The energy and interest from the group was well worth the effort.”

The Bug Blitz is the idea of renowned naturalist and scholar, Professor Edward O Wilson of Harvard University. The Hugh DT Williamson Foundation, The Sovereign Hill Museums Association and Museum Victoria provide Victorian school children with the opportunity to participate in Bug Blitz at Narmbool.

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