Encourage your children’s science educators
to participate with the Mega:Bitess Academy.
Image: Middle school students EXCITED about the eggs on their egg papers.
Mega:Bitess focuses on La Crosse virus, which is spread by Aedes triseriatus (or tree-hole) mosquitoes. The virus can cause La Crosse encephalitis (LACE). LACE predominantly affects adolescents and children. Although LACE can be debilitating or fatal, it is not common (about 68 cases per year, mostly in Appalachia) and – most importantly – it is easily preventable.
Encouraging secondary- and high school students to pursue STEM careers is Mega:Bitess’ mission. The Mega:Bitess Academy is located at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Educators at secondary and high schools apply to participate in the Academy – taught by UTK faculty and other experts -- which teaches them about medical entomology, geospatial analysis, and science communication.
Image Above: Identifying a mosquito under the microscope which is then displayed on a tv for educators to see.
Image Left: Middle school students are using a Geo-inquiry Tuberic to help them formulate a question for their mosquito surveillance research.
Through Mega:Bitess, students get the chance to develop their own class research project using the scientific method, collect data, map their data, and communicate their findings to the community. Educators develop lesson plans throughout the Academy to demonstrate the interrelationships of the concepts to their students. Seventeen teachers in East Tennessee completed the first Academy cohort in May 2020.