Asking questions to Academy Scientists

Students had the opportunity to ask Michelle about their curiosities.

Academy etymologist Michelle Trautwein chatted with over 750 students during the first Scientist's Scoop this spring! During these free online programs, Academy scientists visit students virtually to share their experiences, describe what they have discovered in their research, and answer student questions.

What happened during February 9th's Scientist's Scoop?

Our homes may seem like nothing is living in them. Turns out we are living with thousands of tiny roommates. Dr. Michelle Trautwein has been studying the insects living in our homes for the last couple of years. During this Scientist's Scoop--an online webchat offered for free for students around the country--she revealed some fascinating truths about our homes.

In the 1-hour live discussion, we discovered what it is like to study arthropods living in homes around the world. During the program, over 750 4th–12th grade students learned together how Michelle fell in love with these tiny creatures and decided to study them.

We discussed her process for collecting arthropods and made predictions of what we might find in our own homes. Then students compared what Michelle found in homes to what they found in their own backyards and school yards. At the end of the program, students learned what surprised Michelle here in the US and in her travels to explore all 7 continents.

This program was interactive in nature! Students had the opportunity to ask Michelle about their curiosities regarding what it is like to study arthropods in homes, the type of skills needed, and her research findings.

What people are saying a day later...

I love having my students see real scientists using all the scientific skill sets we emphasize. They see the relevance of how we are instructing them to "do" science, that those things are really used in the field. Seeing that scientists are passionate about what they study is inspiring, too!

- Blacksburg Middle School


My daughter was VERY reluctant to do this once I told her I signed her up for it. She quickly learned about arthropods as she wanted to have somewhat a brief understanding of the topic. The links with attachments about the topic were super helpful for her research. She really enjoyed the hands on activity she experienced in the backyard. She took pictures, drew, wrote and explored for hours. This outdoor research really changed her outlook and attitude towards the whole event. You guys definitely know how to pull off a fantastic learning experience for kids. As it was almost time to start she was pumped. She requested we all be very quiet (my husband had the day off and her little sister had to go to another room so she could focus).

I checked on her a couple times and she was so engaged and EXCITED as the webinar/class was going on. Thank You!!! I asked her how it went She said - "REALLY good!" On a scale of 1 to 10 how would you rate it I asked her. "A 10!!!!!" She can't wait till the next one.

- Homeschool parent

Join us for another Scientist's Scoop this spring!

Attendance is free to all, but we recommend registering early to grab a spot!

February 13th & 14th: How did Canopy Meg get her name?

March 9th: A bird’s-eye view of poison in the rainforest

March 23rd: What lies 400 feet below the ocean’s surface?

April 21st: How to bring Earth Day to everyday?

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