STAR Eco Station's Creepy Crawly FeatureBy: Anne Stokes, special to the Placer Herald
Rocklin's STAR Eco Station's 6th annual Creepy Crawly Feature was a delight for all of the senses! The environmental science museum held it's entomology festival for kids of all ages to get to get a feel (and taste!) for insects, reptiles, and a wide variety of exotic creatures. Activities for kids included arts and crafts projects, hands-on learning with live reptiles and insects (including some on loan from UC Davis' Bohart Museum of Entomology), tours of the rescue center's facilities, and live bug cooking shows, which culminated in an all-you-can-eat gourmet bug buffet.
"Our mission is Preservation Through Education," said director Jamie Hudson. "So this is an event to bring people into the Eco Station to learn about our animals, wildlife conservation, and what we can do to save the planet."
Rocklin Girl Scout Cadets Kaylee Oropallo and Madeline Dungan created an educational sculpture entitled "Plastic Bag Monster," which was unveiled for the event. The towering sculpture, which was made using 1,200 plastic disposable bags, represented the average number used annually by the average American consumer.
"Most people think [plastic is] just something that will help us, but in reality it is a monster because it hurts our environment," said Girl Scout Madeline Dungan. "We're hoping that [kids] can learn that they can make new habits not to use plastic bags, and to help their parents remember 'let's not use the plastic bags, let's get a re-usable bag."
Parent Lisa Roberts of Rocklin brought her two sons to the event to foster their interest in science as well as to try a little something out of the ordinary.
"My younger son especially really likes bugs, and snakes, and reptiles. And my older son wanted to eat [bug buffet] They both did. They're both brave." said Roberts. "I thought it would be a good opportunity for them to engage themselves in a big way with this kind of thing, bugs and reptiles. So that's why we're here. And I'm glad we came."