4th Annual Hokie Bugfest - at the Inn at Virginia Tech
October 11, 2014
Hokie Bugfest is a festival to promote the fun and excitement of the science of entomology and to celebrate the legacy of William Bradford Alwood - Virginia Tech's first entomologist.
This outreach/Extension event is jointly hosted by the Virginia Tech Department of Entomology and Virginia 4-H.
Our department's graduate student service organization, the W. B. Alwood Entomological Society do much of the work in hosting the event. We are so very proud of this group. Since its inception in 1966, this student-run professional organization has hosted over 30,000 school students through our labs and at related events in the region.
We continue to work with Virginia 4-H to enhance our 4-H entomology program. Last summer this effort included hosting activities at 4-H camps and the State 4-H Congress. Again, our graduate students led this effort. This complements their many tours and other activities throughout the year. We came away from the camps with an established curriculum that we will continue to refine. Several 4-H clubs collected insects to enter into a competition at this year's Hokie Bugfest. The 4th and 5th grade 4-Hers from Tazewell County were our winners this year. If your 4-H club is interested in participating in this activity, please contact us. The winners this year took home some nice prizes. For more information, please call (540) 231-6543 and ask for Stephanie Blevins.
- 2011 - 2,000
- 2012 - 3,600
- 2013 - 4,229
The distribution of this attendance was roughly one child for every adult attending, based on 2012 counts.
Junior Entomologist Certificates - were awarded to children of all ages who completed a questionnaire and visited at least eight exhibits. Applications were turned into the junior entomologists desk where they received a personalized certificate, a 4-H project book, and a magnifier or similar prize for their efforts.
- 2012 - 765 certifcates awarded (961 applications distributed)
- 2013 - 658 certificates awarded (692 applications distributed)
Those answering questions on the Junior Entomologist applications (2013) revealed the following statistics:
- 74% were attending their first Hokie Bugfest
- 55% were boys; 45% were girls
- 97% said they would return in 2014
- 24% said they had a fear of insects and their relatives - yet, attended anyway!
- 98% came from Virginia to visit the event - others came from GA, IN, MI, NC, OH, SC, and WV
*For groups interested in tours of the Entomology Department at other times of the year, please see the W. B. Alwood Society tour page. The Hokie Bugfest is the only venue where we are able to show our entire live arthropod collection. We do not have a dedicated exhibit space in our department that can house the collection in one place for tours. So our tours, other exhibits, and visits include a very limited number of live arthropods.
The W. B. Alwood Entomological Society received over $2,500 in donations at this year's event. Donors were given t-shirts, honey, and buttons depending upon the size of their donation. The Alwood Society is still offering these incentives to donors. Donors of $10 were given a t-shirt or a pint of honey. Donors of $6 were given a 1/2 pint of honey. Smaller donations (donors) were given buttons. Supplies of these items are limited. Donations from this year's event supported four scholarship awards to deserving students to enable them to travel to the national Entomological Society of America meeting in San Antonio, Texas. If you are interested in one of these donor incentives, especially the t-shirts, please contact Ashley Peery, Alwood Society President, at peerya2(at)vt.edu.
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