ShareThis Page
Home & Garden

'The Bug Lady' brings her program to Leechburg Area adaptive art and life skills classes

| Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017, 3:30 p.m.
Susanne Lypka, known as The Bug Lady, presents her program to students from Leechburg Area School District’s life skills and adaptive art class. Lypka has provided educational seminars on creepy crawly insects for more than 20 years.
Joyce Hanz
Susanne Lypka, known as The Bug Lady, presents her program to students from Leechburg Area School District’s life skills and adaptive art class. Lypka has provided educational seminars on creepy crawly insects for more than 20 years.
Susanne Lypka, The Bug Lady, presents live and mounted bugs, for students in Leechburg Area High School Life Skills and Adaptive Art classes.
Joyce Hanz
Susanne Lypka, The Bug Lady, presents live and mounted bugs, for students in Leechburg Area High School Life Skills and Adaptive Art classes.
A scorpion glows under UV light at The Bug Lady presentation at Leechburg Area High School held for students from the adaptive art and life skills classes.
Joyce Hanz
A scorpion glows under UV light at The Bug Lady presentation at Leechburg Area High School held for students from the adaptive art and life skills classes.

Students bugged out at Leechburg Area High School this week.

A visit from Susanne Lypka, aka “The Bug Lady,” provided an up-close and interactive learning experience about insects for students in Erin Hettrich's adaptive art and life skills classes.

Lypka, a Philadelphia native, is semi-retired after 20-plus years running her educational business, The Bug Lady.

Lypka recently relocated to the area, settling in Aspinwall, allowing her proximity to her family, which includes daughter Hettrich, art teacher at Leechburg for grades K-7.

“It was definitely interesting growing up with bugs,” Hettrich says. “My mom always had my brother and I wrapped up in collecting, mounting and dissecting something.”

More than 30 insects, both alive and dead, were on display for the students.

“The students are both really stoked and a little freaked out (about the insects),” Hettrich says. “I have brought in a few insects here and there to help students draw insects realistically, sometimes bugs get a bad rap which is another reason I want to introduce students to all of The Bug Lady's “friends.”

Lypka has a passion for explaining the benefits of insects and helping kids connect to the real world through bugs. She has degrees in education and biology.

A live Madagascar hissing cockroach held the children's attention. Most students were eager to touch the hard shell, which feels like touching a fingernail, says Lypka.

“My favorite insect was the scorpion,” says sixth-grader Cody Greer. “I saw one in a video once, but I was brave today and held the hissing cockroach ­— it was ticklish.”

Hettrich plans to use this experience on insects to create a upcoming corresponding art project.

“She how pretty she is,” says Lypka, showing off her female tarantula named Rosie.

Rosie showed off, even spinning a little silk for the students.

Under the beam of ultraviolet (UV) light, scorpions glow a vibrant blue-green. When the lights were turned off in the classroom, a green glow emitted from a live scorpion named Stinger —eliciting “ooohs and awws” from the students.

Joyce Hanz is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me