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With class registration upon us, the CDI’s are excited to bring you a blog post each day this week detailing our favorite elective we have taken while at UGA. While our major and pre-requisite classes are always challenging and exciting, some of our favorite classes have been those obscure and unusual electives you may have never heard of.

This semester, I am enrolled in Entomology 3900, a course designed for Entomology outreach and service-learning. In this class, we learn about the insects (where the come from, what they eat, what they’re called) and then we actually go out into the community and teach others about the insects. During the semester, I helped teach 30 boy scouts about crickets and tarantulas, taught my sorority freshmen about butterflies, and showcased the hissing cockroaches and millipedes to a Discover Life Science Club at Sandy Creek Nature Center. During each class, we reflect on these experiences including how we felt during the outreach event, how receptive the participants were and about the overall effects of service learning.

My overall participation in the Entomology Outreach & Service-Learning course has really opened my eyes to two things, the impact (and plethora) of insects in our community and the benefits of service-learning with respect of teaching and learning. I have truly enjoyed this class because it was one where I could actually focus on learning through hands-on experience without feeling like I had to simply memorize facts to get an A on the test. By engaging with the material and learning it in order to teach others, I have absorbed more information, and I know the material learned will stick with me longer than if memorized. I will think about things differently because insects are not as scary to me as they were before. Yes, they are insects, but no they do not all bite and they are genuinely good for our environment. While I’m not at the point where I am ready to eat insects, I do appreciate their existence and do not ultimately wish their downfall. But who knows, maybe I’ll be ready to eat insects once this class ends.