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Rhonda Santos (508) 852-8044
Suzanne Bond  (301) 734-5175

USDA Launches New Asian Longhorned Beetle Science Curriculum

WASHINGTON, March 21, 2011 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) today announced a new educational curriculum designed to help the public detect any infestations of the invasive Asian longhorned beetle (ALB).

Beetle Busters is a real-world, fun, hands-on environmental science program allowing educators to bring local science right into their classrooms.  Educators and students can take action together to help uncover any infestations of the ALB by recognizing the beetle, searching for it and reporting findings online.  The multi-unit program includes standards-based, age-appropriate activities for 3rd through 8th grades and 9th through10th grades science classes, as well as for after-school and summer programs.

USDA Launches New Asian Longhorned Beetle Science Curriculum

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“Beetle Busters is the newest educational initiative of our ongoing efforts to eradicate this invasive insect from at-risk communities across the United States,” said Christine Markham, national director of the Asian longhorned beetle cooperative eradication program.  “Many educators have been seeking a curriculum tailored to this critical issue.  The curriculum is designed to help educators achieve their teaching goals, while challenging students to make a difference in their community.”

APHIS is offering educators a free curriculum “kit” that includes a teacher's guide, a classroom poster, a classroom-set of identification cards and bookmarks, as well as the online game called “Freeze and Collect” for use in class or at home.  Supplies are limited and are fulfilled on a first come, first served basis, however all of the kit components are available for download online.  Educators can order their copy of the kit at BeetleBustersKit.com/.

ALB threatens urban and suburban trees, as well as valued forest resources.  The invasive pest has devastated communities around the country, causing entire neighborhoods to lose many of their trees.  Learn more about this invasive beetle and the educational initiative at www.BeetleBusters.info/.

The “Be a Beetle Buster” portion of the website includes a wealth of additional resources, printable materials and more.  Visit beetlebusters.info/beABeetleBuster_educators.php to:

Note to Reporters:  USDA news releases, program announcements and media advisories are available on the Internet and through Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds.  Go to the APHIS news release page at www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom and click on the RSS feed link.

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