Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Webinar: Cicadas and the Brood X Emergence

Archived Webinar

This Zoom webinar with Entomologist Floyd Shockley aired May 26, 2021, as part of the "Smithsonian Science How" series. Watch a recording in the player above.


Brood X, one of the broods of periodical cicadas that spends 17 years underground as nymphs, emerged in the Eastern United States in spring 2021. Billions, perhaps even close to a trillion cicadas emerged. In this video, Smithsonian Entomologist Floyd Shockley teaches us about these cicadas, their special adaptations and life cycle and unique things about their natural history that you may not have known. Floyd joins us from the National Museum of Natural History, where he shows viewers live cicadas and cicadas preserved in the Smithsonian's Entomology collection. 

Moderator: Maggy Benson, museum educator and distance learning manager at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

  • This video is an extension activity for the museum's Insect Survival in-person school program for Grades 3-5.

About Smithsonian Science How

Connect your students to Smithsonian science experts in this weekly series of free live, interactive webinars. Hosted by Smithsonian educators, "Smithsonian Science How" will connect your students to authentic science, discoveries, and collections while inviting them to participate in live polls and ask and answer questions throughout. 

Thematically aligned with NMNH School Programs, the webinars serve as excellent extension activities. Each webinar aligns with core content from a school program, but is an independent experience.

National Elementary School Standards

Next Generation Science Standards

This video supports learning about animal adaptations and is aligned with the following standards:

Life Science

  • NGSS-3-LS1-1: Develop models to describe that organisms have unique and diverse life cycles but all have in common birth, growth, reproduction, and death. 
  • NGSS-3-LS2-1: Construct an argument that some animals form groups that help members survive.
  • NGSS-4-LS1-1: Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.

Related Resources

Resource Type
Videos and Webcasts
Grade Level
Learning Standards
Next Generation Science Standards
Life Science