Through Sept. 1
Often thought of as creepy, crawly creatures that serve no purpose other than grossing people out, insects tend to be underappreciated. However, a new exhibit at the Lawrence of Hall Science (1 Centennial Dr., Berkeley), Xtreme Bugs, highlights the powerful role insects play in our lives through their impact on food production, medicine, and the environment. Viewers can see insects’ anatomy from a new angle by checking out the giant, mechanical bug replicas and then can watch some live critters — including an emperor scorpion, a tarantula, and a giant Madagascar hissing cockroach — in action. On Saturday, opening day, entomology researchers will be on hand to explain their work and share startling facts about insects (for example, one out of every three bites of food we eat is the result of bee pollination). In addition to the educational component, participants can race cockroaches through mazes, try on a robotic scorpion tail, and try to follow an ant trail using only their noses.