Science Sunday: Fireflies

 

This past week we’ve read about all sorts of beetles, from ladybugs to fireflies.  As soon as I realized we were studying them I tried to look up to see if there was any sort of experiment to explain how they light up.
 
I came up with nothing.  I saw lots of “go out and count how many fireflies you see,” type of thing, but we don’t really have them here in Texas.
 
So, I decided instead to have us be pretend fireflies.  This worked out super well because one of the episodes of “The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That” was about fireflies so we incorporated that as well.
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First we got our glowsticks and broke them.  Or rather the kids attempted to, and I ended up breaking them.

 

 

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Then we went down to our local elementary school playground and took turns flashing our lights to signal different things.  The boys refused to flash their lights to get a girl to come to them because, and I quote “I don’t want the girl to come and eat me.”  That teaches me for telling them about how some females eat the male of their species.

 

But, they had a lot of fun flashing their lights to warn about spider webs, or other dangerous things.  I of course was the spider.  Why do I always get to be the bad guy?

 

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And of course we had to try out the cool effect of waving them around in the complete darkness.

 

Seriously though the glowsticks were probably a lucky find for explaining fireflies because just like the fireflies glow it’s a chemical reaction and it doesn’t heat up like our lights do.  It’s a very efficient process as far as energy conversion goes.

 

Downside to this experiment now the kids are trying to convince me I need to let them walk around with them forever.  Oh well.

 

Have you ever had a lucky find that worked well for you?  I love finding those from time to time.

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9 thoughts on “Science Sunday: Fireflies

  1. Oh, what fun! And I keep seeing The Cat in the Hat on other blogs. It's a great show isn't it? Except that song is permanently in my head…

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