Columbus BugZoo via Zoom

Jeni Ruisch, Director of Outreach and Academic Programming, Department of Entomology at The Ohio State University joined our November 14th club meeting to share some animals from the Columbus BugZoo via Zoom. Jeni curates a collection of live critters for outreach activities on or near The OSU campus. During COVID-19 she is providing virtual educational outreach programs. She not only shared her passion for animal husbandry but left the students with a newfound respect for our bug friends around the world. Many students were interested in the Latin names of the insects shared, they can be found below. Keep exploring insects and Entomology careers – the work is very rewarding and offers many interesting career pathways.

Jeni Ruisch showing off the Columbus BugZoo.

Madagascar Hissing Cockroach, Gromphadorhina Portentosa

Giant Drummer Cockroach, Blaberus Giganteus

Northern Walking Stick, Diapheromera Femorata

MacLeay’s Spectre Leaf Insect, Extatosoma Tiaratum

Olive Millipede, Spirostreptus Brachycerus

Emperor Scorpion, Pandinus Imperator

Rosehair Tarantula, Grammastola Rosea

Our next club meeting will dive deeper into Entomology career pathways and offer bug challenge activities and trivia for us to engage in!

Virtual STEM Club November Kick-off: video conferencing etiquette, Schoology, bug benefits, and career paths within Entomology!

By: Meghan Thoreau, OSU Extension Educator, Community Development & STEM, Pickaway County

We have a full line up for the month of November. We’re starting with an important first club meeting, Saturday, November 7, 2020 @ 10:00 a.m. where club members and parents get to meet virtually for the first time and say hello. STEM teachers will share the club’s expectations, resource blog site, video conferencing etiquette, and provide a virtual walk-thru of the Schoology Club site.

(Students and parents please note that all Zoom meeting details can be found in Schoology’s Virtual STEM Club class! If you have any questions or issues finding the announcement please email STEM teachers.)


The following two Saturday’s will focus on bugs and learning about the benefits insects perform and provide vital functions within our ecosystems. For example, bugs provide foods for many birds, mammals, and fishes on which fishing and hunting depends. They also decompose dead materials, and reintroduce nutrients into the soil. On Saturday, November 14, 2020 @ 10:00 a.m. Jeni Ruisch, Director of Outreach and Academic Programming, Department of Entomology at The Ohio State University will be joining our club session. Jeni curates a collection of live critters for outreach activities on or near The OSU campus. During COVID-19, she is personally housing the Columbus BugZoo & providing educational outreach programs via Zoom.

She Majored in Psychology, minored in English, Pop Culture Studies, and Neuroscience. Her education focus is on human and non-human animal cognition and behavior, and professional background in husbandry. She has additional education in writing and publishing, with 10-years of professional writing experience, including three years as the editor of a magazine. Hobbies are pretty much like her job, diverse and pet friendly. She has lots of bug pets, stays busy caring and maintaining their enclosures, and also trains dogs. Jeni’s career is quirky, but throughly rewarding. Below are some photos of Jeni with some bugs at the Cincinnati Zoo. (The giant stick bug is over a foot long!)

During our Club meeting we’ll learn more about iNaturalist, an online social network of naturalists, citizen scientists, and biologists built on the concept of mapping and sharing observations of biodiversity across the globe. iNaturalist may be accessed via its website or from its mobile applications.

If you can’t wait still we meet, enjoy this Life of Insects educational video by environmental steward, David Attenborough, with some arthropods!


On Saturday, November 21, 2020 @ 10:00 a.m. we’ll engage in more bug challenges and learn about Entomologist Careers and why entomologists are so important?