Grant Application Work Samples

The work sample above showcases the diverse range of classes, workshops, and events offered by The Insect Asylum between our opening to the public on Earth Day 2022 and the present day. These programs encompass fields such as art, community building, adult and youth education, and biological sciences. You may get a glimpse of our insect pinning classes, meet and greets with exotic animals, allowing the audience to interact with wildlife in a safe and controlled environment, gardening events that bring the community together, nature education workshops specifically designed for children, and social gatherings led by our community members. Every program and class we host is designed to be inclusive of the largest diversity of ability and learning style among participants.

Who we are
We are LGBTQIA+, BIPOC, Latinix, disabled and neurodivergent inclusive. Our mission at our vintage taxidermy and insect museum is to provide a unique and immersive educational experience that fosters an appreciation for animals and the natural world. We are committed to promoting eco-sustainability and a deep understanding of our impact on the environment. We prioritize neurodivergent learning and strive to create an inclusive environment where everyone can learn and grow.

Our emphasis on hands-on, engaging activities encourages exploration and creativity, allowing visitors to develop a personal connection to the specimens on display. As an institution that values art, we believe that taxidermy and entomology are important artistic practices that can capture the beauty and diversity of the animal kingdom. By combining education and art, we aim to inspire curiosity and respect for nature in all who visit our museum

The Adults with Autism Class Program is designed to serve the specific needs of adults with autism who are interested in learning about insects and taxidermy. This population often faces unique challenges in accessing educational opportunities that are tailored to their interests and learning styles.

There is a significant need for programs that provide a safe and inclusive environment for adults with autism to engage in hands-on activities and learn new skills. Many traditional educational programs may not be well-suited to the needs of this population, and there may be limited options for specialized programming that takes into account their unique needs and interests.

The Adults with Autism Class Program will fill a critical gap in programming for this audience by providing a safe and educational environment that is tailored to their specific needs and interests. Our program will offer opportunities for hands-on learning and creative expression, while also providing a supportive and inclusive community for participants. We believe that our program will help to promote curiosity, creativity, and a love of learning for all participants, and we are excited to have the opportunity to expand our programming to serve this important population.

The funding we are seeking will significantly expand our ability to serve a new group of stakeholders beyond our current repeat audience. Specifically, the grant will allow us to develop and implement a new program that targets underrepresented communities in our area. Through this program, we will be able to reach individuals who have traditionally been excluded from our services due to financial or other barriers.

We plan to use the grant funds to hire additional staff, purchase new equipment, and develop outreach materials to promote the program. Additionally, we will work closely with community organizations and leaders to identify and engage with potential participants. By doing so, we hope to build strong relationships with these new stakeholders and foster a sense of community around our organization.

Ultimately, our goal is to create a sustainable program that provides ongoing support and opportunities to this new group of stakeholders. With this grant, we will be able to make a meaningful impact in our community by expanding our services and ensuring that all individuals, regardless of their background or financial means, have access to the resources and support they need to succeed.

Our outreach strategy to reach and encourage new students to participate in the program will be multifaceted. Firstly, we plan to collaborate with local autism organizations and advocacy groups to promote the program to their members through their newsletters, websites, and social media platforms. Additionally, we will leverage our own social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, to advertise the program to a wider audience.

To generate interest, we will create eye-catching promotional materials, such as flyers and posters, and distribute them in local community centers, libraries, and schools. We will also engage with the wider community by attending events and fairs and distributing promotional materials.

To ensure we reach as many people as possible, we will also use targeted digital advertising to reach people who may not be aware of the program. We will use social media ads and Google AdWords to target individuals who have expressed an interest in autism or related topics.

To encourage participation, we will make the application process as simple as possible. We will create an online application form that is easy to use and understand. We will also provide clear instructions on the application process and deadlines, as well as the selection criteria. We will ensure that our selection process is transparent and fair.

Finally, to ensure that the program is accessible to all, we will sponsor a select number of students who may not have the financial means to participate. We will select these students based on a range of criteria, including financial need and demonstrated interest in the program.


Adults with Autisim Curriculum

The Insect Asylum - "Curating Curiosity for a Cause"

Program Title: Adults with Autism Class Program

Introduction:The Insect Asylum is pleased to submit our grant application for the Adults with Autism Class Program. Our program is designed to provide a safe and educational environment for adults with autism to learn about the fascinating world of insects and taxidermy. The program will run from {DATE} to {DATE}, on {DAYS OF WEEK} from {TIMES}.

Scope of Service: The Adults with Autism Class Program will consist of 27 one-hour classes and activities. The classes will be split into two groups based on age and students' body. The {age/students body} group will attend classes on {DAYS OF WEEK} and the {age/students body} group will attend classes on {DAYS OF WEEK}. Each lab will have a maximum of 12 students to ensure a safe and engaging experience for all participants. The {age/students body} group will complete 13 weeks of classes, and the {age/students body} group will complete 14 weeks of classes.

Program Description: Our program will provide participants with an opportunity to engage in hands-on activities that encourage learning and creativity. Our instructors and volunteer staff will work together to ensure that the program is tailored to the specific needs and interests of the participants. Our curriculum will include topics such as insect anatomy, taxidermy, and the role of insects in the ecosystem. The program will also include art-based activities that allow participants to express their creativity and learn new skills.

Conclusion: The Adults with Autism Class Program will provide a unique and enriching experience for adults with autism. The Insect Asylum is committed to creating a safe and engaging environment for all participants. We believe that this program will help to promote curiosity, creativity, and a love of learning for all involved.

Grant Proposal: Professional Development and Curriculum

Introduction: The TIA organization is pleased to propose a program that focuses on the professional development of educators and the curriculum for students. The proposed program comprises twelve cohorts, each with a unique theme and set of activities designed to foster student learning and growth. The program aims to provide an immersive and hands-on experience that encourages students to explore the natural world and develop an appreciation for the environment. Each cohort has been carefully crafted to meet the needs and interests of students at different grade levels, and to ensure that the learning experience is engaging, informative, and fun.

Cohort 1: Defense Through Design: Watercolor Butterflies & Ladybugs Craft & Aposematic Discussion - INTRODUCTION AND ASSESSMENT CLASS

The Defense Through Design cohort aims to introduce students to the concept of aposematic coloring and how insects use it to protect themselves in the wild. This introductory class will involve a discussion of pinned specimens in a display case, followed by a hands-on activity where each student will create their own butterflies and a secondary craft. The purpose of this class is to gauge motor skills, engagement levels, communication styles, and the ability to follow instructions. This information will help us subdivide the students into pods that will ensure program success and add value to all students.

Cohort 2: Opossum Day/Craft

The Opossum Day cohort is designed to give students a hands-on opportunity to meet and interact with a live opossum named Hazel. The class will include a discussion of how to protect and care for North America's only marsupial. After meeting Hazel, students will create opossum bracelets out of recycled materials and real hides to take home. The class will also include a wet specimen demonstration of a baby opossum.

Cohort 3: Planting With Purpose

The Planting With Purpose cohort aims to teach students the importance of nurturing their dreams to help them grow, much like plants. Students will write a positive intention or change they want to see in their world on a piece of parchment made by TIA out of recycled paper and native plant seeds. The class will also include a discussion of native plants, a propagation demonstration, and each student will take home one potted seedling.

Cohort 4: Butterfly Pinning

The Butterfly Pinning cohort will teach students the process of entomology: what it is, why it's important, and how it's done. Students will learn how to hydrate, process, pin, spread, and dehydrate their butterfly specimens.

Cohort 5: Arachnids

The Arachnids cohort will teach students about the growth, movement, and reproduction of spiders and tarantulas. The class will include live spiders, tarantulas, and a variety of molts for observation and comparison.

Cohort 6: Microscope Lab & Butterfly Mounting Class

The Microscope Lab & Butterfly Mounting cohort aims to give students the opportunity to search for things the eyes cannot see. Students will be asked to bring something natural to the class, and they will divide into teams to explore their found items under microscopes. The class will conclude with an instruction on unpinning and mounting the butterflies from cohort 4 and finishing the wet specimen.

Cohort 7: Beetle Pinning

The Beetle Pinning cohort will provide a hands-on learning experience on the entomology of beetles. Students will learn how to properly manipulate a beetle to display its best features and preserve it for years to come. The class will teach students the hydration process, pinning and spreading, and dehydrating of their specimens.

Cohort 8: Miniature Quail Nesting Activity This class provides a unique opportunity for students to observe our resident miniature quail, Kennicott and Leipold, up close. Through discussions on nesting and real-life examples, students will learn about the intricate process of creating a nest. They will also have the chance to make their own nest and explore TIA's extensive collection of bird feathers to learn about the various species they came from. At the end of the class, each student will take home their handmade nest.

Cohort 9: Fascinating Snakes Students will meet two live snakes, Jackjack the ball python, and Coi the milk snake, in this class. Our instructor will provide an introduction to snakes and their growth process, along with hands-on learning opportunities such as examining snake skins, preserved eggs, and the bones of a 10-foot berm.

Cohort 10: Invasive Species and Ecosystems This class focuses on the damaging effects of invasive animals and insects on different environments, and how we can prevent infestations while supporting the needs of native species. Through discussions and observations of pinned invasive specimens, students will learn about the importance of protecting natural ecosystems.

Cohort 11: Owl Pellet Dissection and Mandala Making In this class, each student will dissect an owl pellet to learn about the fascinating process of how owls eat and digest their food. The class will conclude with the creation of a mandala using the bones found in the pellets, for students to take home as a keepsake.

Cohort 12: Praying Mantis Dance Day Students will learn about the life cycle and behavior of mantises through up-close interactions with live specimens. Additionally, they will participate in a game of "praying mantis says," where they will mimic the movements of a live mantis. (Note: Praying Mantis Dance Day can be incorporated into the Invasive Species class.)

Alternate Class Option: Imaginary World Map Making Through the creation of an imaginary world map, students will learn about the science behind physical forces such as plate tectonics, ocean currents, and weather patterns, and how these forces shape different ecosystems and biomes on Earth.

Cohort 13: The Wonderful and Diverse World of Roaches This class will provide a deeper understanding of the often-misunderstood roaches. Our instructor will introduce students to various species of roaches and provide the opportunity to hold a Madagascar hissing cockroach while discussing fun and fascinating facts about these creatures.

Cohort 14: Resin Workshop Day In this final class, students will utilize items studied and observed throughout the past 14 weeks, such as bones, feathers, insects, snake molts, and plant materials, to create beautiful keepsakes such as runes, necklaces, bookmarks, or charms. These items will serve as lasting reminders of the knowledge and experiences gained during their time at TIA.