Friday, September 16, 2016

Firefly Glowstick Games

When we studied fireflies, we learned that each species uses a distinctive flash pattern to identify themselves and attract mates. So, to demonstrate this, we went over to our church gym (because it was a nice big space to run in, and because we couldn't find a place where it would be pitch dark in our house) and I brought glowsticks in three color pairs: two pinks, two blues, two greens. I gave one glowstick to each child. Then we turned out the lights, and the children that had matching colors had to find each other by flashing and waving their lights.

It was surprisingly fun. They had fun locating their "mates," but then they came up with all kinds of other firefly games too--races and relays and so forth. The glowsticks gave off just enough light that you could (mostly) avoid running into walls, but it was dark enough that everyone was laughing and squealing and having near-collisions. Good times.

Glowsticks are a pretty good representation of a firefly's bioluminescence, since they are both "cold" light created by chemical reactions. We so wish we had fireflies around here, because we love them! But at least some of us have finally have seen them in real life, when we went to Montreal last summer. And maybe someday we'll really get lucky and see some here in Utah!
Firefly mates finding each other
Fireflies starting a race

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