Sam Noble Museum’s Annual Oklahoma Ugly Bug Contest - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Sam Noble Museum’s Annual Oklahoma Ugly Bug Contest

(Source Sam Noble Museum) (Source Sam Noble Museum)
(Source Sam Noble Museum) (Source Sam Noble Museum)

NORMAN, OK (KSWO) —The Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History and the Oklahoma Microscopy Society celebrate 20 years of the Oklahoma Ugly Bug contest with an exhibition of larger-than-life photos of insects, all captured by the contest’s previous winners.

“This exhibit provides a great opportunity for kids to learn more about the world around them and do so on a much different scale than they’re used to,” said Katrina Menard, entomology curator at the Sam Noble Museum. “Visitors will be able to see the beauty of these bugs that they wouldn’t be able to see with the naked eye.”

Open to all Oklahoma elementary schools, the annual “Ugly Bug” competition is designed to get students interested in microscopy and entomology at a young age. The rules are simple: Each school can submit one bug — the “uglier,” the better. Entries are processed at scanning electron microscope labs across the state.

“They range from Ziploc bags where the bug may be crushed and unusable by us, to very elaborate ideas,” said Preston Larson, research scientist at the Samuel Roberts Noble Electron Microscopy Laboratory. “You get a lot of Kodak film containers, some iPhone boxes, and I’ve even seen one in a Styrofoam egg.”

The school with the winning entry, judged by a group of OMS members, scientists and volunteer judges, receives a Leica stereomicroscope. The resulting images from 20 of the contest’s past winners are on display at the museum Feb. 11 through June 18.  For accommodations, call 405-325-4712 or visit

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