8-Year-Old Girl Co-Authored a Scientific Paper After Being Teased for Her Love and Passion for Bugs
8-year-old Sophia Spencer loves bugs and enjoys learning about them. Unfortunately, being interested in bugs and giving grasshoppers a ride on her shoulder does not actually make her a “cool kid” and she was constantly teased by her friends.
To support Sophia in her passion for insects and to encourage her to be proud of what she loves doing regardless of what other people think, her mother, Nicole Spencer, wrote to the Entomological Society of Canada to share Sophia’s story and ask them for help.
“I have an eight-year-old daughter who loves to learn and explore the world of bugs and insects. She is often teased at school by her peers because she will proudly display her current bug friend on her shoulder,” Nicole wrote.
Sophia’s mother wanted professional entomologists themselves to encourage her daughter considering that Sophia’s dream is to be in the same profession in the future.
“I was wondering if a professional entomologist would speak to her over the phone to encourage her love and explain to her how she could make this into a career,” Nicole wrote. “I want her to know from an expert that she is not weird or strange (what kids call her) for loving bugs and insects,” she appealed in the end.
The group shared Nicole’s letter on Twitter with the caption: “A young girl who loves insects is being bullied & needs our support. DM your email and we’ll connect you! #BUgsR4Girls”
The tweet became viral and earned positive responses from working entomologist who reached out to Sophia. To cap it all off, Sophia collaborated with Morgan Jackson, an entomology Ph.D. candidate who wrote a paper about how Twitter can help promote women in science.
“In our paper, we dissect what happened, how Sophia went viral, & why it’s important that 1 million + people heard her story told #BugsR4Girls,” tweeted Jackson.
Because of her online popularity, Sophia made friends with the scientific community and kids around her also stopped bullying her.
“I feel really good,” said Sophia.
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