It Can’t Fly, but It Does Blink

Lightning bug 04.07.10
Months ago, Seth picked a firefly for this year’s school project on insects. About halfway into the project, Seth finally got around to mentioning that there was an extra credit project he could do. We still had plenty of time, so no panic.

As you can see from the pictures, we made a working firefly. Here is what we used:

The head is one of those hard, crunchy foam things used for dry flower arrangements. We used acrylic paints for the black eyes and brown head. We used glitter paint to make the half-moon eyes appear faceted.

The thorax was a chunk of yellow swimming noodle that we painted black.

The antenna and legs are double-twisted pipe cleaners.

The tail is a bottom of a plastic water bottle colorized with glow-in-the-dark acrylic paint.

The wings are craft wire, aluminum foil and plastic wrap, which we put in the oven to tighten before attaching to the thorax.

The light is an emergency blinking flashlight shoved into the thorax. I was able to catch it “glowing” with a fast camera.

The wing covers, which are not visible, were cut out from black felt and attached with wood screws.

Astronomer, as Seth has named our bug, may serve double duty when Lael’s preschool class does a unit on bugs.

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