Entomology Project

What is it All About?

Have you ever chased a butterfly or caught a lady beetle?  The 4-H Entomology Project allows you to study and learn about insects, the largest group of animals on earth. This project will introduce you to the world of insects, show you how to collect and display insects you find, and even show you how to do explore forensic entomology by completing insect research and using the scientific method.

Grow in Your Project

Starting Out

  • Learn to identify insect parts and various shapes, sizes and colors of insects
  • Match an insect’s form to its function and explore its adaptations
  • Explore insect biodiversity by collecting various insects using different traps
  • Learn about invasive insect species and the reasons for their survival success
  • Identify biological controls with the use of insects, relating it to IPM and forensic entomology

Learning More

  • Explore how to make insect collection tools such as an aerial net, hand lens, collecting jar and relaxing jar
  • Attract and collect insects, and then study the diversity of the specimens collected
  • Use IPM practices within your home
  • Explore forensic entomology principles to properly identify an insect

Going Further

  • Conduct research and use additional resources for in-depth study of entomology
  • Use the scientific method to record and keep accurate records to use in reporting or presenting your findings
  • Explore the use of transect sampling to study and monitor the environmental health of a habitat
  • Solve crimes by using forensic entomology principles and skills



Take Your Project Further!

  • Start raising an insect as a pet or for a hobby. Observe the insects behaviors in a variety of settings
  • Find and study an ant colony over time
  • Study the life cycle of an insect. A great place to start would be a caterpillar, watch it turn into a cocoon, and then a butterfly or moth
  • Take a hike and see how many different types of insects you can find
  • Learn about different types of insecticides. Even learn how to make your own bug repellent
  • Become a beekeeper and harvest your own honey
  • Take a field trip to your local coop or seed dealer to learn about common insects in your area
  • Visit a lawn care company to learn how they control pests
  • Research careers related to entomology

Applying Project Skills to Life

Enhance Your Communication Skills

  • Do a presentation on Integrated Pest Management to help solve an insect related problem
  • Do a presentation on insects at your local County Fair or at a 4-H Exhibit

Get Involved in Citizenship and Service

  • Create a community flower garden to attract beneficial insects
  • Take your insect collection to an elementary school or nursing home and show it to others
  • Make an insect craft with your club members and donate them to a local hospital or nursing home to use as tray favors
  • Work with a beekeeper or raise your own bees to provide honey to a local food pantry or family in need

Learn about Leadership

  • Host a Cloverbud meeting about insects
  • Develop and implement a biological control program for an invasive species
  • Host a club bug collecting contest to help member learn about insects in your area

Showing What You’ve Learned

  • A collection of insects that are mounted and labeled
  • A display of insect body parts
  • Create a pitfall insect trap
  • Make a model of an insect’s eye
  • Display on types of insect control in the home
  • Insect trap
  • Poster on insect metamorphosis
  • Display of insect leg parts
  • Poster on understanding insect pesticide labels
  • Plans for a butterfly garden
  • Display of various types of insect mouths
  • Display of various types of insect wings
  • A pinning kit

Adapted with permission from Wyoming State 4-H, Project Information Sheet, Entomology. Retrieved from: https://www.uwyo.edu/4-h/projects/natural-resource-education/entomology.html.

*Resources available at your local Extension office or shop4-H.org.

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