Home > Enrichment > Love fireflies? Help research them in your own back yard!

Love fireflies? Help research them in your own back yard!

Last night, we spotted our first lightning bugs of the year, so this seems like an ideal time to plug the Museum of Science Firefly Watch, a citizen scientist program you can do by watching fireflies near you.

Firefly Watch is easy to do with kids. You’re asked to spend 10 minutes, once per week, counting lightning bugs in your yard, or a park, or whatever spot you choose — you just have to be consistent. You’ll record some simple data about weather conditions and the flash patterns you see. Then, you fill out an online report form to submit your observations.

My kids and I have done this, and it’s a great learning project. Not only do you get to be part of collecting research data, but you can also see observations recorded by other citizen scientists all over the country. The collected data helps researchers at the Museum of Science, Tufts University and Fitchburg State College to track how firefly species are faring and how they may be affected by environmental factors like light and pesticides.

 

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Categories: Enrichment
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