Bug Day


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Hold or observe bugs, learn about where bugs live, what they like to eat and who likes to eat them. It might be you! At this one-day, annual event you can learn about and handle a variety of insects and spiders from the American Museum of Natural History collection, meet a local beekeeper and sample some honey, learn the difference between entomology and entomophagy, and even taste a bug.

From 12 – 3 pm, keep an eye out for Ant-Man and the Wasp, and grab some free stuff from Marvel’s next film to feature the adventures of Ant-Man and his along-awaited ally, the Wasp.

Free with NYSCI admission.



*Held noon – 4 pm unless otherwise noted.

Beekeeping 101: Learn about bees, beekeeping and taste some honey with Tim O’Neal and his mobile hive.

Bugged Out with NYSCI’s Early Childhood Department: Explore the fascinating world of insect habitats and anatomy. Use everyday materials to design and create your own crawly friend. 2 – 4 pm

Foldscopes: Take home your own Foldscope, the ultra-affordable, paper microscope that you assemble yourself. Designed to be extremely portable, durable and to give optical quality similar to conventional research microscopes (magnification of 140X and 2-micron resolution), Foldscope brings hands-on microscopy to new places! Limited supplies will be handed out on a first-come, first-served basis.

Bugs NYSCI: Hold and learn about NYSCI’s hissing cockroaches, observe leaf cutter ants in action, and attend a feeding of the museum’s bearded dragon (he likes to eat big green bugs!).

Merci Mercado: Incredibly Delicious Grasshoppers and Worms From Southern Mexico: Learn about edible insects in today’s world and taste several grasshoppers in different flavors, just like the ones used in recipes developed by top-notch chefs in New York City using Merci Mercado ingredients.

Meet Your Mites with NOVA: Did you know that there are microscopic mites living on your body? Demodex mites live out their entire lives in the pores of humans and other mammals. Learn more about these face mites and get a chance to meet them yourself by participating in face mite sampling activity!

Medicine from WHAT? with OpenBiome: Using chocolate ice cream instead of poop, learn what the gut microbiome is and how bacteria in your gut can cure infections.

Microbe Pin-Making: Learn about soil microbes and what they do. Use Carbon Sponge microbe illustrations to make a button of your favorite microbe to take and spread the word about these important parts of our ecosystem. Please use the Science Playground entrance to access NYSCI’s Carbon Sponge.

Observe and Hold a Variety of Insects and Arachnids: Join John Fuentes from the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) for an introduction to some of the live specimens from the AMNH Collection.


Talks and Demonstrations

1 pm – Investigating Carnivorous Plants with Jonathan Kui of Midtown Carnivores: Learn about carnivorous plants and the bugs they like to eat.

1:45 pm – Meet a NOVA Wonders Host: Meet neuroscientist Andre Fenton, one of the co-hosts of NOVA Wonders, a new series that takes viewers on a journey to the frontiers of science, where researchers are tackling some of the biggest questions about life and the cosmos.

2:30 pm – What Is Food? An Introduction to Edible Insects with Joseph Yoon, Brooklyn Bugs: Chef Joseph Yoon will give an introduction to edible insects as he explores humans’ relationship with food, and why children may be the answer to the future of food! Following this talk, Che Yoon will then demo and share samples of edible insect dishes featuring a wide range of insects from ants and mealworms, to crickets and grasshoppers.

3:15 pm – NOVA Wonders: The Power of Poop: Learn about the power of poop and the process of fecal transplantation. Learn how OpenBiome makes lifesaving pills out of human poop.

Screenings of NOVA Wonders: What’s Living In You?
On your face, in your gut, and everywhere in between, trillions of bugs, bacteria, viruses and fungi play an important role in keeping us healthy. In this series of presentations and activities, NOVA Wonders, the new PBS science documentary miniseries, will explore the fascinating, bizarre and downright surprising secrets of the human microbiome.

That’s On My Face?! 1 pm, Lab 1
Featuring clips from NOVA Wonders: What’s Living In You?
There are trillions of microbes living in and on our bodies. But did you know that there are also little animals that live, feed and mate on your face too? Learn about the face mites that live on us as well as some creepy parasitic invaders that hitch rides on mosquitoes and grow inside humans.

How Poop Can Save Lives 2 pm, Lab 1
Featuring clips from NOVA Wonders: What’s Living In You?
When the good bacteria in our gut dies, there are very serious complications that can affect our health and wellbeing. A new type of treatment using pills that contain human poop could be the answer to saving lives and restoring balance to the ecosystem inside our guts.


About Our Bug Day Partner Groups

Borough Bees
A place to share knowledge and the learned experiences to help make beekeeping fun and accessible for anyone willing to try it.

Brooklyn Bugs
Brooklyn Bugs’ mission is to raise appreciation and awareness of edible insects through delicious, fun and creative programming. After producing New York City’s first festival dedicated to edible insects over Labor Day Weekend in 2017, Brooklyn Bugs received notable press that shared its interest in promoting the gastronomical, sustainable and ecologically friendly aspects of entomophagy or the human consumption of insects. They are committed to educate and encourage people that this is not a food trend, but a movement that will continue to grow worldwide.

Foldscope was invented by Manu Prakash and Jim Cybulski while Jim was a Ph.D. student in Manu’s laboratory at Stanford University. Their inspiration for the Foldscope came from field visits around the world where they continually encountered bulky, broken microscopes, or a lack of microscopes entirely. Originally inspired by the idea of a cheap field diagnostics, and with support from a Gates Grant, the project blossomed into the invention of the Foldscope, a foldable microscope made mostly of paper, with a cost of goods less than one U.S. dollar.

Merci Mercado
Merci Mercado is a family-owned company that brings exceptional ingredients to the kitchens of chefs and lovers of fine cuisine. Its flagship products are grasshoppers and worms from Southern Mexico.

Midtown Carnivores
One of the main goals of Midtown Carnivores is that of community outreach and education. They have provided workshops to the New York Hall of Science, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, the Brooklyn Public Library, the Queens Botanical Garden and several member families from the New York City Home Educator’s Alliance.

NOVA Wonders
NOVA Wonders takes viewers on a journey to the frontiers of science, where researchers are tackling some of the biggest questions about life and the cosmos. From the mysteries of astrophysics to the secrets of the body to the challenges of inventing technologies that could rival – and even surpass – the abilities of the human mind, these six hours reveal how far we’ve come in our search for answers, how we managed to get here, and how scientists hope to push our understanding of the universe even further. Along the way, we meet the remarkable people who are transforming our world and our future.

OpenBiome is a non-profit public stool bank, founded to expand safe access to fecal transplantation for patients with recurrent C. difficile infection and to catalyze research on the microbiome’s role in human health. OpenBiome provides clinicians with rigorously screened, ready-to-use stool preparations and supports researchers with a suite of tools to discover how gut bacteria might treat diseases beyond C. difficile.

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