Have you ever stopped and really looked at a spider web? Sure, they may a bit icky and who doesn't hate finding one in the corner of a room, but they're incredible works of engineering and artistry. While we can appreciate the webs, to appreciate the creature that creates them is another story. For many, the presence of spiders gives them the heebie jeebies. So it can come as a surprise that there are people who study these tiny hunters/engineers. This month we're celebrating a real-life 'Spider Woman,' Dr. Aimee Lynn Barrion-Dupo, The Inquisitive Entomologist.
Aimee comes by her love of spiders naturally, her parents were entomologists that also study them. Her undergraduate work focused on derby spiders or wrestling spiders. That's right, in the Philippines and other countries around the world spider wrestling is a pastime and gambling event. Watching these tiny athletes, Aimee had loads of questions about them, specifically whether or not they were more fierce when hungry or right after they'd hatched their eggs. For her graduate work, Aimee studied moths. But what she's really known for is a labor of love that completed her mom's work.
Before she died, Aimee's mom, Dr. Adelina Barrion, was working on a book that classified and categorized spiders found in the Philippines. It was her dream that she would create a pictorial guide that other entomologists could use to aid in their research, but that dream wasn't recognized before she passed away. Not wanting her mom's project to get lost while wanting to spend more time with her father, Aimee picked up where her mom left off and with her dad, created the pictorial guide. Thus far, they've identified about 534 spider species in the rice fields. In the forest, there are so many spiders that Aimee said there are almost too many to count. How does one even begin to tell the difference between that many spiders?!
How does someone take on such a daunting challenge considering how tiny the subject is?! Yes, Aimee was inspired by her mom's work, but so much of what Aimee has done and accomplished can be attributed to her inquisitiveness. She'd grown up asking questions, wondering about the whys and whats, and was naturally curious. Curious kids turn into curious adults. Curious adults change our world. What are you kids curious about? How can you foster inquisitiveness in your kids?
This month, introduce kids to The Inquisitive Entomologist, the world of insects and spiders, and help them to ask questions about the world around them. Crates and our new mini-mailers are available through July 15! But hurry before this crate crawls...flies...or slinks away!