Easy Night Science

After a wonderful Father's Day meal with family we were walking our last guests to their car.  Coming back in the house we spotted a ton of lightning bugs, so I decided to catch one.  Once I did this the kids started going crazy trying to catch them, too!  Miss B ran inside to get a little container and we wound up with three lightning bugs.    Our lightning bug keeper was nothing fancy... if you want to prepare ahead of time, here are some cute instructions for making a firefly jar.  

I didn't know much about these fascinating little creatures, so once everyone was ready for bed, we laid down with the iPad and did some research.   I love it when we are learning about something that is RIGHT IN OUR HANDS!!!   

Some very interesting facts about Lightning Bugs:  

1.  Lightning Bugs give off "cool" light - they emit no heat!  An ordinary lightbulb is 10% light and 90% heat.  
2.  Lightning Bugs are CREPUSCULAR (we learned this word earlier in the year and both of my children almost squealed when I read them this fact!).  Don't know what it means?  Guess you'll have to GOOGLE IT!
3.  Lightning Bugs are of the order Coleoptera (winged beetle), the same as Ladybugs.
4.  They are endangered, so every single one counts... if you catch them, please let them go SOON!  
5.  There are 2,000 different types of fireflies!
6.  If you are WEST of Kansas City, your probably won't be able to see them ~ no one really knows why.

Some great sources of information about fireflies are at and National Geographic.

Have you had an impromptu lesson recently?  What was it about?     

Science Sunday