Scarlett’s Superstars: Sophia Spencer

By Anne Cissel

Kids like you can make a difference for wildlife and the environment. Meet some inspiring young heroes who have turned their love of animals into action! 



Courtesy of Schwartz & Wade

Sophia Spencer, #BugsR4Girls

Sophia Spencer’s love of bugs began when she was just two years old. When she and her family were visiting a butterfly sanctuary one day, a blue butterfly landed on Sophia’s shoulder. The little creature seemed happy with Sophia—so much so that a guard had to carefully remove it when Sophia’s family was ready to go home!

When Sophia was in first grade, some kids made fun of her when she brought a grasshopper to school for Show and Tell. They made her think that it was wrong or weird to like bugs. Her mother sent an email to a group of insect scientists, called entomologists (en-tuh-MAH-luh-justs). She was hoping a scientist could encourage her daughter’s fascination with insects.

With Sophia’s mother’s permission, scientist Morgan Jackson posted the email on Twitter, with the hashtag #BugsR4Girls. He wanted to see if other entomologists could help.

Did they ever! Hundreds of scientists and other bug lovers responded enthusiastically. As a result, Sophia got to help write an article in a science journal all about social media and bug science.

Sophia is now 11. And with the help of picture book author Margaret McNamara, she’s published a children’s book called The Bug Girl, based on her story. We bet no one will “bug” her anymore about her love of insects!

Meet more kid superstars!


Do you have a story to share about helping wildlife and the environment? Email us at We love hearing everyone’s stories, but we are able to feature only a few of them. All submissions become the property of the National Wildlife Federation.

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