Over the past month, students in the Urbana CLIMB program at South Elementary got a new look into the world of entomology through the OSU Extension office. Students first spent three weeks learning about what makes an insect an insect, how insects move, and where they are found, through Teaming with Insects, an Ohio 4-H entomology project, during their weekly session with 4-H Program Assistant Carrie Ellington. Students then had the opportunity to learn about the growing field of edible insect foods made out of cricket powder and mealworms. OSU Extension Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program Coordinator Jim Jasinski gave the students an overview of how other countries already include insects as a part of their daily diet, and how cricket powder is a healthy source of protein. The students then had the opportunity to sample different types of cricket protein chips, cricket infused snack bars, and brownies made with cricket flour. The students were also given non-cricket protein snacks, and had to decide through sight, smell, touch, and taste if the snacks were “Cricket or Non-Cricket”. Students were also given surveys so that they could record their reactions to each snack. Afterwards the students got a surprise visit from Spider-man. Overall the students enjoyed the program and the treats, at the end declaring, “We love crickets!” If you are interested in bringing OSU programming like this or other 4-H programs into your classroom, please contact Carrie Ellington at 484-1526.
Carrie Ellington is program assistant for 4-H youth development at Champaign County Extension Office.