Vicenza students learn about creepy crawly things
July 1, 2013
VICENZA, Italy -- What do silkworms, cockroaches and butterflies have in common? They all could be seen at Vicenza Elementary School -- behind glass. Employees from the Directorate of Public Works Entomology Department came to the school June 6-7 to speak to around 400 students about harmful bugs in Italy and let them look at their collections of bugs.
"Franco is an excellent, local science resource for our students and we are very fortunate to have him here," said Mary Generelli, VES second grade teacher.
Franco Lidron and Davide Donà visit the elementary school around once a year to give a presentation to classes about harmful insects that can be found in Italy and what to look for on the playground. The Entomology Department has collections of butterflies and other insects to include wasp hives so that students know what they look like.
"Franco gives us additional information concerning local animals, their habits, the benefits that they can give us, and how they help provide a balance to our local ecosystems," Generelli said.
Other bugs included in the lecture include bees, hornets, ants, scorpions and spiders.
"Not only is this a nice lesson for the students but they have an idea of what they can find here while in Italy," Lidron said.
Lidron has worked on Caserma Ederle since 1980 and started doing Entomology in 1998. Both Lidron and Donà attended college in Padova, studying Entomology for three years. Their duties on Caserma Ederle, Villaggio and Del Din extend beyond spraying for pests. They both have knowledge about trees on the installations and work in capturing cats to control the population by spaying the male strays.
While visiting the school, they brought live cockroaches and silkworms to the room. They also had butterflies that were preparing their cocoons to show and explain to the children.
"The children were most interested in the silkworm and everyone touched it," Lidron said. "They were scared of the cockroaches and didn't want to touch them."
The men told the children about a situation last year infront of building 109, the garrison headquarters, where German wasps had made a hive and were coming out. A trap was built and after a month, they had thousands of dead wasps. They brought a jar showing how many can live inside the nests.
"It is very important that the community never attempt to touch or move traps they find," Lidron said. "We are experts and are trying to protect the community and not harm any people or animals."
Lidron and Donà have taken their information and shared it with Italian schools who request it.