1. Embed arthropods and worms in casting resin, using products purchased at your local arts and crafts store. I've used Castin' Craft in the past, but there are other options out there as well. Here is one of my creations - adult Ixodes scapularis ticks (in different stages of engorgement) in a small petri dish:
2. Find some anisakids in frozen (or fresh) cod. I have the best luck with Atlantic cod; in every bag of 10 fillets, I usually find at least 1 worm. I let the fillets thaw in the refrigerator and then use blunt dissection to find the coiled larvae. I put the fish (with anisakid) on a plate for display in my teaching lab. It's a great way to get medical students, residents, techs, and clinicians interested in parasitology.
3. Buy some medicinal leeches (Hirudo medicinalis) at your hospital pharmacy. Like the cod, these also make a great display for a parasite teaching laboratory. You can use them as an example of an ectoparasite, talk about the anticoagulant they produce (hirudin - used medicinally), discuss their fascinating history (past and present) in medicine, and also discuss why it is necessary to give prophylactic antibiotics to recipients of leech therapy (to prevent sepsis with Aeromonas - a commensal bacterium in the gut of medicinal leeches).
Yes, it's a display with shameless 'ick' factor, but it's great for capturing the attention of medical students and clinicians alike.
4. Learn some basic entomology skills. Try dragging for ticks, collecting black fly (Simulium sp.) larvae from a fast-flowing stream (below), or learn how to mount insects professionally for teaching purposes (compliments of Blaine Mathison).
5. Last, but not least, have a parasite potluck, with treats decorated with your favorite (candy) parasites.
Cupcakes by Dr. Rachael Liesman, my Clinical Microbiology fellow:
Malaria cookies by my Education Specialist, Emily Fernholz
Cakes from the Mayo Medical Students! Coconut rectum, Giardia duodenalis, Reduviid bug transmitting Trypanosoma cruzi through its feces, Strongyloides stercoralis on a stool agar culture, and a strawberry cervix.