AMES, Iowa — The Iowa Academy of Science has presented its Friend of Science Education Award to Ginny Mitchell, education program coordinator of the Insect Zoo at Iowa State University.
Mitchell, a program assistant in the Department of Entomology who is also known as the Bug Lady of Iowa, was presented the award this month at the academy’s fall conference. It recognizes significant contributions to the academy’s Iowa Science Teaching Section and to science education at the local, regional or statewide level.
The zoo’s traveling exhibit visits schools around the state, averaging 325 programs a year. In the past six years, the Insect Zoo has traveled to 89 of the 99 Iowa counties, educating more than 150,000 children.
She developed classroom programming based on the Iowa Core Curriculum for Science and the Next Generation Standards for Science. In her programs, the students are given the title of entomologist, an insect scientist looking for answers.
Mitchell also supervises the zoo’s insect rearing facilities and its ISU student-workers. Along with the students, she has developed a rearing handbook that can be used in homes and other institutions.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in insect science in 2012 from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
More information about the Insect Zoo is available at: zoo.ent.iastate.edu