Several new courses are being offered at Beacon College this semester. One of the most interesting and unusual ones is Topics in Science: Insects & Mythology. This course is being taught by Dr. Kirk Stowe, who explains the goals and concept of the course:
Many people think of insects as creepy crawlies…Something to be feared. However, throughout history, insects have been not only feared but also revered. There is a long history of myths about insects that has carried on to the present day. This, and my interest in insects, has inspired me to develop a course concerning insects and the mythology that surrounds them. In the course, students learn about insect anatomy, life history, and behavior as a foundation for understanding how these have shaped our myths.
The first part of the semester focuses on past myths, such as the sacred scarab beetle of Egypt or the ant-lion of the Bible. The second part of the semester focuses on current myths, or urban legends, such as the earwig or love bugs. During the semester, students will research and give an oral presentation on a myth concerning an insect or group of insects as well as develop and write their own myth.