A class at New Mexico State University generated a lot of interest this semester, and students said they were eager to partake in all the course has to offer.
The Department of Entomology, Plant Pathology, and Weed Science at the College of ACES offers many “Seeing the Wider World” course opportunities for students studying in a variety of disciplines.
The entomology course, which is the study of insects, enrolled nearly 500 students in the spring 2022 semester. Scott Bundy, professor of entomology at NMSU, said the course is a hybrid format, offered both online and in person.
“Some students react differently, but I get a lot of feedback from them online, live online, and emails, questions, and comments,” Bundy said. “So I think there’s a pretty good interaction.”
Some bugs can have a scary reputation, but Bundy said there’s a lot more to learn about them if they’re open-minded.
“I think bugs are really amazing, and everyone should know how cool they are,” he said. they aren’t scary – and some are – and why they are scary. It just gives people a better understanding of their importance and my point of view, as an entomologist I just like to show people how really cool they are, and I’m always excited to see them, so it’s is fun for me.
Students like Jacob Villa, a senior, have already made the class known and how interesting it is for them.
“My sister is more into creatures than I am, so she asked me what class I was taking, and I told her it was an entomology class where you just learn about insects,” Villa said. . “She’s a sophomore here at NMSU and said she wanted to take the course, so she’s already signed up for the course and very excited to take it next semester as well.”
Towards the end of the semester, the students in the class have the opportunity to experience something that many others don’t: eating bugs. These range from fried worms to grasshoppers – and even live mealworms.
“For me, I was a bit more interested in mealworms because I have a bearded dragon that I feed mealworms and crickets to daily, so I often handle them myself,” Villa said. “I was interested in how they actually taste, as my pet eats them every day. I’m glad I got to try it.
By learning about insects and even learning about their taste, students ended the semester with a different perspective and opened their minds to their importance in our world.
“Often, at least what I’ve learned, insects are very misunderstood,” Villa said. “They are a very important part of our ecosystem and a lot of people are often afraid of them. Some of them are scary creatures, but they provide a lot of benefits to the world, so it’s good to be able to understand them. on a deeper level now, including their taste too.
“If this class doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, we also talk about a lot of cool things that are relevant to everyone, so most people are having fun by the end of the semester,” Bundy said. , noting that students of his come from many different disciplines and fields of study. “I get art majors, science majors, and all kinds of groups of people. It’s fun to see what their perspectives are and it informs me on how to deal with talking to people about bugs. »
For more information about the entomology course at NMSU, contact Bundy at [email protected].
Tatiana Favela writes for New Mexico State University Marketing and Communications and can be reached at [email protected]575-646-7953.