We love sharing insect knowledge with children through classroom and booth style presentations! Presentations typically split into two sections and last about 45 minutes total. The first part includes general info about insects, reasons why insects are good and bad, ways that insects survive in a world full of predators, ways that insects communicate with one another and much more! Part two is all about handling live insects and is usually the most memorable part of our visits.
We can also provide more specialized curricula to fit with particular units (for example; metamorphosis, pest insects, pollinators, beneficial insects, etc.). If you’d like us to focus on something specifically, please indicate this on your presentation request form
Live insect presentation depends on what types of insects are available. Presenters generally try to bring as big of an assortment as is possible. Insects we maintain:
- Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches
- Peppered Cockroaches
- Walking Sticks (when available)
- Tobacco Hornworms (when available)
Children are allowed to hold the insects. Most of the insects brought to a presentation are not able to sting, bite, or transmit diseases. Our tarantulas are extremely docile and we only bring them out to be held when we feel both the tarantula and kids will be safe. The live insects-portion of the presentation is probably the most popular and memorable part for kids and adults alike.
- Presentation locations are limited to within an hour drive of the UW campus (exceptions possible, with added cost)
- Talks are usually geared for children age 3 and older
- Summer presentations are subject to ambassador availability (typically, summer is “Field season” for our students, and many are not available)
- Please submit presentations at least 2 weeks in advance to allow us to find volunteers. Presentation requests received within 1-2 weeks of the event will almost always not be available.
Presentations at the UW
We are also able to host presentations at our space in Russell laboratories. We are able to reserve a teaching laboratory with microscopes for close examination of specimens, provided the space is available. We are not able to give tours of the Insect Research Collection. The collection is a research-specific area with no museum-like displays or interactive material – it is simply a housing area for our research specimens. If you would like to schedule a presentation at the UW, please include that in your presentation request location!
Cost and Donations
Insect Ambassadors is a volunteer-run organization. Our operating budget is extremely limited, and we depend on donations for our presentations to be successful and help cover the costs of maintaining our live and preserved insects and transporting our students to presentations across the state.
We used to ask for a donation depending on the distance from UW or complexity of the presentation (auditorium vs. booth vs. small classroom, etc.). However, our goal is to share insect education and make it as open and accessible as possible and not have cost become a barrier to insect outreach, so that is not something we are emphasizing as much anymore. Sponsorship is always welcome and appreciated, but not required, and please let us know if you have any questions.
As a volunteer-based organization, our availability is subject to the awesome people who take time out of their days to make our presentations happen. As such, there are occasions where we will not be able to find available presenters. Our coordinator does her/his best to alert groups of volunteer shortages in advance, but sometimes our notice is short. While we do our absolute best to avoid having to cancel presentations, we appreciate your understanding and ask that you work with us to find a new date for your presentation, if possible!
If you would like to schedule a presentation, please fill out the form below:
We will email when someone is available to link the presenter with the requester, both to stay in touch and to provide more specific coordination details if needed.
If one of our volunteers is not available, we apologize and hope to coordinate a different time that works for everyone.