District Programs & Departments
The Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District offers
FREE science programs to schools within District boundaries
GLACVCD in partnership with the Mobile Science & Vector Education Foundation announces the Annual Poster And Essay Contests
This year's theme: How Vector Control is Important to my Community
Fourth and 5th grade students are being encouraged to write an essay beginning or ending with the phrase "...vector control is important to communities..." Click on the links below for poster and essay contest rules and guidelines.
Poster Contest Announcement
Poster Contest Rules & Guidelines
Essay Contest Announcement
Essay Contest Rules & Guidelines
Our 2013-14 winners are Crystal Vargas (Poster Contest) and Elizabeth Hernandez (Essay Contest)!
Crystal Vargas and her family posing with GLACVCD Board of Trustees President Pedro Aceituno (left)
Elizabeth Hernandez posing with her family, teacher (right) and GLACVCD Board of Trustees President Pedro Aceituno (left)
Our Education Programs
5th grade and NOW 4th grade too!
The VECMobile (also known as the Bug Bus), is the first of its kind in the nation aimed at teaching elementary school students about vectors and vector-borne diseases. This unique 35 foot traveling RV classroom makes science come alive for youngsters and is the flagship program of the Mobile Science and Vector Education Foundation.
4th and 5th grade classes of approximately 35 students and one teacher spend 1 ½ hours participating in hands-on science lessons on the VecMobile and in an Exploratorium classroom setting. Students rotate through four science stations on the VecMobile that offer interactive computer lessons, live specimens, and hands-on science experiments. During the Exploratorium sessions, students participate in educational science games and lessons.
Download the school flyer HERE.
The VecMobile Includes:
- Pre-visit materials delivered to the school one month before the visit.
- A “Vector Science Academy” activity book for each student
- An extensive VecMobile guide for the teacher including lesson plans, the entire VecMobile curriculum and a list of science, language arts and health standards that apply to the curriculum.
VecMobile activities inside:
- Four teams of students rotate to each station. They are required to follow directions listed on a flip chart and answer questions on a data sheet for each station.
4th Grade lesson plan:
- One and a half hour of hands-on science activities
- 45 minutes in the VecMobile with guided hands-on activities
- 45 minutes in classroom “Exploratorium”
- Displays of insects
- Question and answer portion
5th Grade lesson plan:
- Station One: students build a large model of a female mosquito
- Station Two: students view the 4 stages of the mosquito life cycle under a microscope
- Station Three: using a computer and animation, students view how a female mosquito takes a bloodmeal and how she transmits an encephalitis virus
- Station Four: students observe three types of fish in a fish tank, study larval behavior and fish morphology, make a hypothesis on which fish will be the best mosquito predator and conduct an experiment to prove their hypothesis.
Sample Classroom Exploratorium activities:
- Students learn how to look for and eliminate mosquito-breeding sources. They have the option to eliminate their backyard breeding sources at home, fill out a form and send it back to us. We will send them an award for helping control mosquitoes.
- Students discuss the current vector in the news with a VecMobile instructor.
- Students view an insect collection, read clues on identifying types of insects, and fill out an activity sheet identifying the type of each insect in the collection.
- Students match up pictures of insects on their activity sheet to the insects in an exotic insect collection from around the world. They write the country each insect is from under each picture on the activity sheet
- Q&A session about vector control and emerging vector-borne diseases
To request a VecMobile visit, please submit an online form HERE. Dates fill up quickly so request soon! If you have any further questions, please call Andy Pak or LeShawn Simplis-Barnes at (562) 944-9656 x513. You can also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vector Inspector Academy
Students receive hands-on instruction with live specimens and demonstrations by an Education Program Coordinator. The lessons cover vectors of public health significance, emerging infectious diseases and public health.
- A 28-page activity book, "Vector Inspector & the Case of the Most Dangerous Insect on Earth," for each student
- “Vector Inspector” badge/sticker for each student
- Live mosquito larvae, pupae and adults
Download the "Vector Inspector Teacher's Guide"
Download the "Vector Inspector" student workbook
To schedule a class:
Classes are appropriate for 6th – 8th grades and last approximately one hour. Up to three classes can be scheduled at a school in one day. Please reserve your date at least one month in advance. Please call LeShawn Simplis-Barnes at (562) 944-9656 x513 for more information.
District Field Trip Program
Come visit the District for an exciting, hands-on, scientific learning experience!
Students are guided through hands-on activities by GLACVCD staff. They circulate through learning stations with lessons on the following topics: mosquito biology, mosquito sampling and identification, disease surveillance and prevention, mosquito control methods, breeding source identification, technical equipment operations, and familiarizing students with the importance of insects in our world.
The Field Trip Includes:
- Station One – Students are introduced to the District’s history and mission, and learn the definition of “vector.”
- Station Two – the Laboratory: Students use microscopes to view and discuss the complete life cycle of a mosquito (egg, larva, pupa, adult).
- Station Three – Fish and Traps: Students see biological control in action when live mosquito larvae are added to a tank full of fish. Three mosquito-sampling methods (traps) are demonstrated. The wild bird and sentinel chicken serology program is discussed along with the encephalitis transmission cycle.
- Station Four – Vector Control Vehicles: Vector Control Specialists demonstrate the operational functions of specialized vector control vehicles.
To schedule a field trip:
The program runs approximately 1½ hours and is open to 4th grade students to adults. We can accommodate groups of up to 125 people and our facilities are handicap accessible. On-site parking and restrooms are available. Interested parties are advised to book field trips at the beginning of the school year as field trip sessions are limited. Field trip location: Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District headquarters- 12545 Florence Avenue, Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670. Call LeShawn Simplis-Barnes for information or to schedule: (562) 944-9656 x513.
Now you can follow the VecMobile on Facebook! Just click on the icon.
About the Foundation
The Mobile Science and Vector Education Foundation, formerly known as the Greater Los Angeles Mosquito and Vector Control Public Health and Educational Foundation, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization based in Santa Fe Springs, California, was founded in March 2001 to advance the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District’s elementary education program.
In April 2001, the District received an $80,000 “in-kind” donation of a 35-foot recreational vehicle which was custom designed and retrofitted into a mobile, science-education laboratory. The VecMobile, also known as the Bug Bus, is the first of its kind in the nation for vector education and community outreach, targeting inner-city youth in need of interactive science programs. The Foundation also seeks to foster student interest in the pursuit of future scientific careers in the fields of entomology, biology, and public health.
The VecMobile is available at no-cost to fourth and fifth graders at all public and private elementary schools within District boundaries and provides safe, educational activities that promote student comprehension and learning. The educational experience covers the topics of public health, environmental sustainability, and vector control.
Make a Contribution
If you or your organization would like to make a tax-deductible contribution to the Mobile Science and Vector Education Foundation to support this popular science education program in the schools of Greater Los Angeles County, please contact the Director of Community Affairs, Kelly Middleton, at 562-944-9656 x510.