SMITHFIELD TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Intermediate students at a school in the Poconos are making art by using dead bugs and the insect of choice is one that has been in the news quite often.
Sorting through hundreds, if not thousands, of dead spotted lanternflies some sixth grade students at J.T. Lambert Intermediate School near east Stroudsburg are getting some hands-on learning.
“The spotted lanternfly is really, really bad for plants and agriculture so we need to do something about it,” said sixth grader Salem Gerhart.
The buggy experiment is all part of a Penn State Lehigh Valley University-sponsored project.
Students are tasked with taking apart wings from the bugs and pinning each one down to a foam board.
Most of these spotted lanternflies came from the Lehigh Valley and once the kids are done pulling these things apart, they will go on display.
“They are taking the wings off the dead bugs, they are separating the wings by color, and they are pinning them to boards to create this very large circular designs that will be part of a project that will be displayed at Penn State Lehigh Valley in December,” explained art teacher Mercy Shemansky.
Sixth grader Samaiya Rivera likes the fact that she’s not only learning about the harmful pest but also turning its pieces into a work of art.
“I think it’s kind of cool because there are two different types of wings. One is spotted and then the second one that is underneath is white, black, and red. I think that once it’s all finished, it is going to look really pretty.”
Schools and community groups in the Poconos and the Lehigh Valley are helping with this project. Once it’s finished, it will display for the public on December 2 and 3 at the Penn State campus near Allentown.
Click here for more information on spotted lanternflies from the Department of Agriculture.
For more information from Penn State Extension, head here.