Within the first week of “Introduction to Entomology,” professor Tiffany Heng-Moss gives all of her students a live cockroach. Each student is not only responsible for keeping the cockroach but researching on it as well.
When Heng-Moss discovers the cockroaches they are given to students in Ziploc bags. Generally the cockroaches will eat through the bag within 48 hours so it is the students’ responsibility to create a home for the roach similar to its native habitat. The students host the roaches for about 3 weeks during which time they test a series of hypotheses on what the cockroaches like to eat and then explain a unique behavior the cockroach has.
Throughout the semester, students learn about varies types of insects. “At the start of the semester, the insects would rotate around very quickly, but as we moved through the semester, all of a sudden the students start to kind of get used to this and they start to actually look at the insects and make observations; they became the scientists,” Heng-Moss said.
Heng-Moss wants to help students discover that science is not just an array of facts, it is an ongoing process of discovering through experiments.