Peckham Elementary is proud of their ugly bug

by Charles Gerian

Peckham Elementary School is on the map thanks to one ugly bug.

The 2018 Ugly Bug Contest, hosted by the Oklahoma Microscopy Society, honored its winner – Pierce Mavis and her teacher, Mrs. Susan – with a microscope in a presentation held Monday at the school.

Lisa Whitworth from the OSU Microscopy Laboratory presented Mavis and Peckham's Pre-K classes with a brand new Leica Stereomicroscope, which costs around $1,000.

Whitworth also handed out posters from the 2018 contest featuring Mavis' insect. 

The contest, held statewide, is open every year to any and all Oklahoma elementary schools.

It begins with students finding the most “ugly” or unique-looking bug they can and bringing it to be viewed under a microscope. From there, schools vote on which bug is the “ugliest.”

Mavis' June bug, also known as a “Cicada Killer,” was voted as the best bug, making Mavis one of the six statewide winners. 

Peckham Superintendent and Principal Gary Young shook the hand of Ugly Bug contest winner Pierce Mavis while her teacher Susan Butts and contest official Lisa Whitworth stood by in the photo. Students submitted their bugs through PES teacher Randi Easley.

“This was really special because she found this bug with her Papa! We were so excited that she won,” Mrs. Susan said.

Susan, who began teaching at Peckham in August of 2018, was excited that Mavis' bug had won the Pre-K class a state-of-the-art microscope.

“I'm very proud of Pierce. It's tremendous that she was one of six winners in the entire state of Oklahoma. We want to thank the Oklahoma Microscopy Society for the microscope, which we can't wait to use in class,” Susan said. 

The Oklahoma Microscopy Society is a local affiliate of the Microscopy Society of America, the Microbeam Analysis Society, and the Oklahoma Academy of Science. 

The society was founded as the Oklahoma Society for Electron Microscopy in September 1977.