Girl scouts, parents and scout leaders investigated pest management and agricultural careers at the GIRL Expo organized by Girl Scouts of Central California South on January 24, 2015. The annual scouting event attracts more than 1,200 visitors from Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera and Tulare counties for a day of “learning by doing” and inspiring girls to take action for their planet and their communities.
Roberta Barton and Julie Sievert represented UC ANR Kearney Agricultural, West Side and Lindcove Research and Extension Centers at an interactive information booth in the “CSI” area. In keeping with the crime scene investigation theme, different “crop science investigation” dioramas were presented containing clues to common pests and pest management methods. Girls and adults had fun using their powers of observation and child-sized magnifying glasses to identify the usual “suspect” for each scene from among a gallery of “wanted” mug shot posters for aphid, rodent, weed, Asian citrus psyllid, snail, and slug pests. Curious visitors were drawn to the REC booth to participate in the engaging hands-on learning activity, get seed packets, and have a chance to win a California Naturalist bug observation kit.