The Coolest Bug Science Project

Normally when I think of DIY Summer Camps, I think of activities that can be done outside, but sometimes the weather doesn't cooperate! This is the coolest bug science project I have seen--and you can do it completely indoors. In fact, you must do it inside!

As I mentioned in my pollinator post, I LOVE citizen science projects. When kids get to work with professionals on projects that benefit a larger community, they feel empowered and more connected to both their world and the scientific world. It's a win-win study!

The Never Home Alone project may be a little bit disturbing to some people, but to me it is the ultimate scavenger hunt! You are looking for bugs, insects, and spiders that have managed to sneak past the barricades we put up and find a spot to live inside our homes! It is fascinating just to scroll through the map and see the submissions of spiders, insects, and other critters that have been found inside!

Making an account and submitting your observations is super easy too! The only challenging requirement is that you must include a photograph, but since you're already inside, your critter is probably going to hold still nicely for you!

So here's the process:

1- Introduce the project! Explain that scientists are trying to study what animals are living inside your home (or library or wherever you want to make observations) without being invited (pets don't count)!

2- Send them on a bug-insect-other critter scavenger hunt! Make sure they take a camera or phone with a good camera!

3- When you finish, pull up the pictures and identify what you found. This can become extremely educational! To help, the lovely people over at Never Home Alone put together a fantastic Guide to Common Insects & Arthropods that are commonly found in homes! I actually learned something new from the guide: wolf spiders can walk on water!

4- Upload your photos and observation information at Never Home AloneSince learning about the project, we've found both one unidentified ground spider and one cellar spider (or daddy long legs)! They might have both been sent outdoors after we recorded our observations. I do have some limits.

And, just so you know, I have NO affiliations with Never Home Alone--I just think it is a really great opportunity for kids to do citizen science!

So...I would love to know: is this a project you would dare do? Would it be too stressful? Or are you like us and think it's ridiculously cool? 

Make sure you join us for our other DIY Summer Camp Activities!! We already have macroinvertebrates live and are half way through our art week!

And if you're looking for more homeschool unit studies, be sure to check out our growing collection here!

Happy Educating,
Carla & the kids who don't sit still!