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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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Future entomologists study insects, taxonomy

Bugs: creepy-crawly, slimy and icky. For most students, insects are nothing more than revolting pests to be crushed. But, for the students who undertook the summer entomology course, they became an integral part of everyday life. To many, this close contact with insects would appear highly undesirable.

“I do not like bugs at all,” Melissa Jimenez, ’05, said. “They are just disgusting. I would not want to spend my summer studying bugs-I want to relax and have fun.”

This summer, campus science teacher Rod Atchley offered a course in entomology for interested students.

“We would go out every day and collect insects,” Atchley said. “We went on lots of field trips, and gathered many specimens. Then, we organized the insects into collections.”

Other objectives of the curriculum included discussing the ways insects can benefit humans, analyzing methods of insect control, taxonomy, structural relationships, and researching insect pests that are common to the Central Valley.

Each student was also required to create an insect collection. A collection of insects were identified, and then mounted onto a display in the high school office.

Taking a summer school course requires the participant to set aside lazy summer days, and instead fill their hours with study and research. Three campus students were enrolled in the entomology class.

“I took the summer entomology class with Joe Griffin (’06) and Chris Byrnes (’06),” Brad Smittcamp, ’06, said. “I decided I did not want to take chemistry, and entomology seemed like a really good alternative. Even though it took place during the summer, it was still a lot of fun. I thought learning about bugs and how to classify them was really interesting.”

The description “all work and no play” did not apply to this class.

“Its definitely the most fun science class you can take at this school,” Atchley said. “I mean, its all lab! We go on lots of field trips all over the Valley. For instance, this year we went to Pine Flat Dam, Shaver Lake, Dinky Creek and Lost Lake.”

The low-key nature of the class appeals to many students who are considering entomology as an alternative to regular school-year classes.

“I think the entomology class sounds really interesting,” Will Hierholzer, ’07, said. “I would definitely consider taking the course, even though it is in the summer. I think studying bugs sounds a lot more interesting than something like chemistry.”

Students who enjoy field trips and interactive learning should consider this class. The only prerequisite is that the prospective student must have already taken biology. Two summers of entomology are equal to one lab class, such as chemistry or physical science.

Students interested in taking the summer entomology course, or wanting more information about it, can contact Atchley at 297-9464, ext. 142.

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