The Cuteness Factor

On this particular day in the classroom, the students were learning about insects hands on!  What was the particular insect they were studying you might ask?  Why, it was a Madagascar hissing cockroach.  I’ll admit, I was not particularly excited at first to hold these 6 legged creatures and I quickly realized neither were the students.  In fact, one student was so scared to touch the cockroach that she literally almost started crying.  One student asked “why can’t we study something cute like ladybugs?”  That is an interesting question that I’m going to try to answer in this blog. 

First, what is it about a ladybug that makes it “cute?”  I don’t have the answer to this question so you can decide for yourself below.

Now, I’m not exactly sure what the classroom would have been like had the students studied and handled ladybugs instead, but I can almost guarantee you the classroom would not have been like it was with the cockroaches (that’d be an interesting experiment):

The background noise was just crazy; you’d hear constant screams and shrieks and the students were just overall talking very loud.  You’d see students that would jump out of their chair when the cockroach moved a whole ½ cm.  You’d see the student who started to freak out when they let the cockroach crawl up their arm, and of course you’d see the occasional student with one hand over her eyes while she tried with all her might to touch the cockroach with a single finger.  The scene was quite hilarious.

Although this might have appeared as mass chaos to an onlooker, the students were quite engaged the whole time.  And I honestly believe this engagement led to a lot of learning.  Would the ladybugs have been as engaging?  Probably not, they’re just too cute.

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About Emily Beck

I am a PhD student in Bioengineering at the University of Kansas and I am studying Tissue Engineering. I am interested in using nanoparticles and natural materials to create scaffolds that can assist in tissue regeneration/repair.
This entry was posted in 2011-2012 GK12, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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