Mosquito bites can be more than itchy! Mosquitoes are vectors (virus conveyors) of
many pathogens that can cause diseases in humans or animals. (That doesn’t mean all mosquitoes are bad, though!)
At MEGA:BITESS, the focus is on Aedes mosquitoes, specifically these three:
Aedes triseriatus, the tree-hole mosquito
Aedes albopictus, the Asian tiger mosquito
Aedes japonicus, the Asian rock pool mosquito.
In east Tennessee and areas of southern Appalachia, these 3 species can spread La Crosse virus (LACV). LACV can cause La Crosse encephalitis in kids your age and younger, and though it’s not very common, it is serious. If you live in the
Appalachian region, you may know someone who has been infected with LACE.
MEGA:BITESS helps your teachers give you the opportunity to plan and conduct
hands-on science experiments in your classes. Science teachers come to the
Academy to learn about medical entomology, geospatial analysis
(mapping data), and science communication.
You benefit as your teachers bring that knowledge back to the classroom: Your class
develops research questions about mosquitoes, sets traps, and collects mosquito
eggs (ova) as data. Geospatial analysis helps you see how your findings fit into the
big picture. Science communication teaches you how to convey that knowledge to
your community. If this sounds interesting, be sure to show this website to your
teachers and your parents.
The scientific methods you learn from MEGA:BITESS translate into much broader
areas than studying mosquitoes. You can apply what you learn from MEGA:BITESS in
a variety of careers and learn about different career opportunities.