Bug man wows kids
There were plenty of captivated faces as “The Bug Man” paid a visit to Onerahi’s Dragonfly Springs Wetlands Sanctuary.
Ruud Kleinpaste was in Whanga¯rei yesterday as part of a plan with Dragonfly Springs’ Jeremy Busck to carry out education work in the town.
Kleinpaste held a workshop for teachers and educators at the Onerahi Community Centre, “to explain to teachers we are losing our connection with nature”. The workshop moved on to the wetlands sanctuary, where children joined in.
Kleinpaste gave the teachers resources to teach with outside the classroom and showed them ways to incorporate nature into what they were doing.
He described the attending children as “absolute flagrant nerds” who were bringing him bugs they found to ask about.
“We’ve been finding ant colonies, cave we¯ta¯, case moth caterpillars. We’ve been finding water spiders, nursery web spiders, damsel flies.”
Kleinpaste said for the children it was about inquiry learning, “and where better to do this than in this wetland”.
While the children were inquiring about the bugs they were learning literacy, numeracy and science.
“That’s the whole idea, to create nature-literate kids.”
He led a crowd of about 80 people on a second tour of the wetlands yesterday afternoon and talked about the various bugs he came across.
Children and their parents followed him closely, fascinated with what might come out of his mouth next. After finding a bee on a flax bush he regaled a tale of having 60,000 killer bees on his face.
Kiwi North educator Shirley Peterson was on hand to teach children about pests and traps.
Kleinpaste ended his day by speaking at The Calfer Suite in Forum North about the value of biodiversity and what can be learnt from bugs and other organisms.
Ruud Kleinpaste, aka “The Bug Man”, talks about the bee on his finger to a crowd of keen observers.