Weeklong Camp Imi-possible gets kids close to insects

  • Malia Kucsh, 9, looks at coconut rhino beetles Tuesday during Camp Imi-Possible "Fantastic Bugs and Where to Find Them" at Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo.
  • From left, ‘O’o Public, 8, Loghen Spain, 9, and Malia Kucsh, 9, look at mealworms and coconut rhino beetles Tuesday during Camp ‘Imi-Possible “Fantastic Bugs and Where to Find Them” at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo.

  • A monarch butterfly clings to the ceiling of an enclosure Tuesday during Camp Imi-Possible "Fantastic Bugs and Where to Find Them" at Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo.
  • HOLLYN JOHNSON/Tribune-Herald Monarch butterfly caterpillars crawl around a leaf Tuesday during Camp ‘Imi-Possible “Fantastic Bugs and Where to Find Them” at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo.

  • Kysen Barrios, 8, looks at monarch butterfly caterpillars Tuesday during Camp Imi-Possible "Fantastic Bugs and Where to Find Them" at Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo.
  • As Brianni Carvalho, 8, uses an entomology aspirator to collect tiny square necked grain beetles, Kea Dye, 9, uses a counter to record the amount of beetles collected by Carvalho Tuesday during Camp ‘Imi-Possible “Fantastic Bugs and Where to Find Them” at Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo. (HOLLYN JOHNSON/Tribune-Herald)

  • Kysen Barrios, 8, looks at monarch butterfly caterpillars Tuesday during Camp ‘Imi-Possible “Fantastic Bugs and Where to Find Them” at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo. (Photos by HOLLYN JOHNSON/Tribune-Herald)

HILO — Keiki were getting close to all manner of creepy, crawly creatures Tuesday at Imiloa Astronomy Center.

Camp Imi-possible, Imiloa’s weeklong summer camp, kicked off, and will be offered again in July.

ADVERTISING


The theme this summer is “Fantastic Bugs and Where to Find Them.”

Armed with large magnifying glasses, keiki peered at centipedes, cockroaches, larvae and butterflies. They studied the stages of metamorphosis, learned about bugs and their coloration, which helps them avoid predation, and built their own bugs.

“Ooh! Beetles!” one child exclaimed as he examined a display of coconut rhinoceros beetles. “It actually looks pretty cool.”

At the same table, others picked up clear cases that contained mealworms. Each display had the insects at a different stage of its lifecycle.

Malia Kusch, 9, said it was fun feeding the centipede, but her favorite animal there was the cane spider.

She likes coming to the camp.

“I really like bugs,” Malia said. “Especially spiders.”

Education manager Anya Tagawa said children were learning about different insects they might find in Hawaii.

“The camp is supposed to be centered around native and endemic insects, but we also wanted to showcase the things that they would see in everyday life, so all the things in their backyards,” she said.

In one planned lesson called “backyard creepy-crawlies,” Tagawa said keiki will make a bug house to capture insects, but also learn about what they might find in their yard, including things like the semi-slug, which carries rat lungworm disease, fire ants and centipedes.

Ryan Tanouye, 8, said the camp was fun.

“You get to meet new friends, and you get to learn all sorts of stuff,” he said.

Imiloa offers camps in the summer, spring and fall, with focuses on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math).

Camp includes eight lessons that incorporate science and culture and a session that incorporates an educational art project related to the theme.

As for the “bugs” theme of this summer’s camp, Tagawa said, “I think bugs are really exciting, and there’s so many themes of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) within it that we can do, but also a lot of the parents showed interest in having an insect camp.”

Last week’s session had 55 participating keiki.

“We’re super excited that camp has come back,” Imiloa Executive Director Ka‘iu Kimura said. “It’s so fun for us here to see these kids coming and interacting and engaging in super fun, hands-on Hawaii STEM curriculum.”

ADVERTISING


“Fantastic Bugs and Where to Find Them” will be offered again from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. July 22-26, for keiki in kindergarten through fourth-grade. Cost is $225 for members and $250 for the general public. To register, visit imiloahawaii.org or stop by the astronomy center.

Email Stephanie Salmons at ssalmons@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email hawaiiwarriorworld@staradvertiser.com.