Entomology 4-H Project Ideas

4-H Project Ideas for Entomology

Source: University of Minnesota Extension
Ideas for your project:
 1.  Insect collection - Collect various insects and mount and label them.  If you want some information on how to collect and mount your insects, the Extension Office has materials that describe exactly how to do it.  You could use a field guide to identify all your bugs.
2.  Start raising an insect as a pet or for a hobby.  <?xml:namespace prefix = "st1" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Madagascar hissing cockroaches tend to make good pets, but you can explore other options as well.  You can observe your insect's behavior in a variety of settings and you may learn important information about its character, its methods of locomotion and eating, its preferred habitat, and numerous other things.  You might also consider honeybees.  They require little work during the winter months, and you can reap a sweet reward at the end of the summer - delicious honey!
 3.  Find and study an ant colony over a period of time.  Note how the colony changes and/or grows.
4.  Study the life cycle (metamorphosis) of a specific insect.  One way to do this would be to find a caterpillar and watch it as it creates a cocoon and then becomes a butterfly.
 5.  Study a disease or problem associated with insects.  Write a report or create a presentation/display on this topic.
6.  Find a career in entomology.  Browse through the job classifieds and find openings for someone with entomology skills.  You may have to search online for these.  You may talk to someone at that company and find out exactly what skills that person needs to carry out the job. You might also find someone working in entomology and interview him or her
 7.  Take hikes in the same area during different times of the year and find as many different types of insects as you can.  Compare and contrast the types of insects you find in summer vs. winter and you'll be amazed at the variety you see.  A similar suggestion would be to try this during the day and at night to make comparisons.
 8.  Eat bugs!  In some countries, insects are considered to be delicacies.  Find some recipes that use bugs and try them out.  You might share your new recipe with friends and family and find out what they think of eating bugs.  Try this link to get started:  Sheesh! Kabobs.
 9.  Learn about insecticides.  Find some insecticides in your house (Off!, Skin so Soft, etc.) and study their labels.  Research the uses of insecticides and learn the positive and negative aspects of using them.  Create a report or presentation with this information.
10.  Come up with your own activity, or call the Extension Office for more great ideas.  We also have several project books you can check out.  These books are full of hands-on ideas for you to learn more about insects.
Here are some forms to help you out with your 4-H Exhibit.
How to make a 4-H Entomology Exhibit
Evaluation and Criteria Entomology Form 
Links to visit for further information and ideas:
***Please note: some of these are non-ISU Extension web sites.
AllAboutButterflies.com - Information on life cycles, anatomy, and more.  There's several butterfly craft activities, too.
EnchantedLearning.com - Printouts, crafts, and rhymes about several exciting insects.
Iowa State University - Entomology Image Gallery
Iowa State University - List of Educator Recommended Sites (links to several exciting pages)
National Wildlife Federation - Read articles or find directions for hands-on activities
University of Kentucky - Insect Facts and Activities
Learning About Insects on the Playground
If you need more help or ideas, we have a variety of resources for you in the Extension Office. Feel free to stop by or give us a call at 563-568-6345.

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