Schoolchildren learn about Hawai‘i’s “Fantastic Bugs” at UH Hilo summer camp

At two week-long summer camp programs held at ‘Imiloa—one in June and one in July called “Fantastic Bugs and Where to Find Them”—campers did “insectigations” of curious creatures and their habitats.

Two children look at bugs in a glass case

Young scientists explored native and endemic insects and spiders found in Hawai‘i and nowhere else in the world at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center’s Camp ‘Imi-Possible. The week-long program, “Fantastic Bugs and Where to Find Them,” took campers on an “insectigation” of curious creatures and their habitats. The center held two of the summer camps, one in June and the other in July, for students from kindergarten to 4th grade.

Through hands-on activities, games and STEM-based art projects, the program took campers to the furthest corners of Hawai‘i Island. The schoolchildren learned about Maunakea’s famous wēkiu bug, followed the life cycle of the Kamehameha butterfly and discovered what insects live in their own backyards through hands-on exploration of live insects brought into the classroom.

Campers also investigated insect mimicry, locomotion and adaptation through inquiry, investigation and engineering.

Taking advantage of ‘Imiloa’s expansive museum environment, camp activities were conducted in the center’s leading digital planetarium, 12,000-sq.-ft. exhibit hall and five acres of native landscape gardens.

A parent of a camper says the planning, staffing, programming, and logistics of the program were tops. “Over the years, my keiki have participated in many camps and many other extracurricular activities,” says the parent. “An excellent experience for me, as a parent, in terms of comfort. I knew my child was happy, engaged and safe.”

Learn more about the program at UH System News.