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HERE COMES THE SWARM!

Sponsored by IBM, Bug Squad, a hands-on exhibit exploring the unique abilities of bugs, is coming to The Discovery Center of the Southern Tier February 1 – April 30, 2023

This unique traveling exhibit, produced by Omaha Children’s Museum, features talking animatronic insects and full sensory play spaces. 

Highlights include the Spider Web Escape Area, the Ant Colony Climber, and the Dragonfly Drone.

Bug Squad Firefly
Meet The Bug Squad

ABBI - The Tiny Titan

Species: Ant

Superpowers: Super strength, super sensitive antennae

Abbi is one of many brother and sister ants. To her, family is the most important thing. She is hard working and a skilled problem solver. Abbi has super strength! Ants like Abbi can carry 50 times their own bodyweight. And when that isn’t enough to get the job done, Abbi knows she can count on her hundreds of siblings to lend a hand, as teamwork is ingrained within ants at an early age. When not helping to lift, tunnel, or engineer structures for the Bug Squad, Abbi takes dance classes. Abbi is blind. Therefore, she listens by feeling the vibrations from the ground through her feet. Abbi is an expert clog dancer.

Strengths: Dedicated, Team-builder, Optimistic

MISS BELLE - Doc Pollinator

Species: Bee

Superpowers: Super fast wings that allow her to fly long distances, ability to suck in and spray out nectar or air through her porboscis, great sense of smell and sight

Miss Belle is the epitome of southern charm. She has a southern accent and is never happier than when she is offering her guests delicious honey snacks. Miss Belle is an environmental biologist. So, not only is she focused on the health and safety of her fellow superheroes; she is also focused on the health and safety of the environment. Miss Belle has super sight (seeing all colors but red) and super smell, Miss Belle can easily locate what the Bug Squad is searching for; she also spreads her message of diversity through her transportation of pollen from site to site!

Strengths: Team-builder, Peacemaker, Impact

SCOUT - The Dynamic Dart

Species: Salt Creek Tiger Beetle

Superpowers: Speed (second fastest bug in the world!), biting power from his large mandibles, digging ability

Scout is truly a Midwest beetle. His favorite team is, of course, the Huskers. His super power, as a member of Bug Squad, is to use his super speed to go ahead and survey the areas for safety. He is part of what is called an “indicator” species, whose presence signals the existence of a healthy saline marsh. His hobby is studying natural history; professionally, he collects soil samples to ensure the safe living environment of his cohorts. He is definitely one of a kind… in fact, that’s what the Xerces Society said too, as he received the Endangered Species Act protection in 2005!

Strengths: Dependability, Accepting, Conversationalist

DOMINIC - Hopper

Species: Grasshopper

Superpowers: Super jumping and a super appetite

Dominic is very energetic. He is always hopping from one task to the next. His super power is his uncanny jumping ability. He is definitely the athlete of the Squad. In fact, in high school, he was state high jump champion.

Strengths: Optimistic, Challenger, Flexibility

AALIYAH - The Spy-Der

Species: Spider 

Superpowers: Spins complex, super strong webs that can capture enemies or give her a place to spy

Aaliyah is African. She has fully embraced the STEAM punk lifestyle. She is the team’s engineer and architect. She is also a master of technology since she’s always working with “the web.” She is always working for the best of the team. Aaliyah’s super power is the strength of her webs. Not only do her webs create a surface for her to spy on villains, she can also use them to trap enemies.

StrengthsTransformative, Dedicated, Researcher

Bug Squad Firefly

PHOEBE - The Lumineer

Species: Lightning Bug 

Superpowers: Ability to generate light from her abdomen (she can use it as a flashlight or to blind enemies)

Phoebe is a chemist. She is nerdy and scientific, but very cool. She became interested in chemistry when she was younger and was studying the bioluminescence that she used to light up. She then decided to see if she could amp it up to have super bioluminescence. Phoebe can light up bright enough to temporarily stun her enemies, but she can also be gentle enough to lead you through the dark. Her scientific inquiry has her fascinated by the diversity of skills of all the different bugs.

Strengths: Dedicated, Team-builder, Optimistic

MEI JING - The Phantom Mantis

SpeciesAsian Praying Mantis

Superpowers: Camouflage, super vision

Mei harkens from Asia. Mei has really honed her skills of camouflage. Even when she’s quietly blending in with her surroundings, she is keeping an eye on everything that is going on as she has super vision. Praying mantids have 5 eyes (two on the sides on their heads and three smaller eyes in the middle). She also is a master of martial arts. Her ability to blend in and help defend her Squad.

Strengths: Deliberate, Unifier, Investigative

MARIPOSA - Metamorfosis

Species: Butterfly 

Superpowers: Long distance flight, color and pattern changing wings, reflects light off her wings like a mirror or prism

Mari loves to travel.Every fall, you will find her visiting her family in the warmer climates of California and Mexico. Her motto is that the best way to understand the diversity of world and its inhabitants is to explore it. She is a bit of a hipster and loves to post on Instagram. Her super power is the power of transformation. She starts as a caterpillar, but she is able to transform into a beautiful butterfly.

Strengths: Transformative, Dedicated, Researcher

MALCOLM - Maverick

Species: Dragonfly

Superpowers: Super flight (he can fly in all directions and at a super speed), 360-degree vision

Maverick is just like his human counterpart in Top Gun. He’s a bit of a show off. His super power is his stealth flying capabilities. He’s the type of bug who would wear his aviator sunglasses no matter what… even inside.

Strengths: Confidence, Leader, Encourager