After learning about the classification system of animals and about invertebrates, students will learn about bioluminescence in the deep ocean. They will then research, draw, design, and create a 3D model of a bioluminescent invertebrate of their choice following the design process and using this design brief: the model has to be hollow and has to be able to sit over a light.
Students will then learn about atoms, electrons, and electricity. They will also complete a chemistry experiment in which they are creating “living light” and are simulating what happens inside the bodies of the bioluminescent invertebrates. They will be introduced to littleBits and use the littleBits kits to build circuits with lights. They will then put the littleBits lights under their bioluminescent invertebrate 3D models to see them “glow!”
Students will complete a short research paper or a five paragraph essay to accompany their bioluminescent invertebrate which discusses the attributes of their animal and explains its adaptations in detail.
Duration: 3-5 hours
Elementary (ages 8-10)
Middle School (ages 11-13)
English Language Arts
MODULES & ACCESSORIES USED (7)
slide dimmer (1)
toggle switch (1)
usb power (1)
rgb led (1)
bright led (1)
OTHER MATERIALS USED (4)
paper clay 1
website that takes students to information on bioluminescent invertebrates 1
STEP 1 : The Hook:
Watch video of Edith Widder’s Ted Talk: https://www.ted.com/talks/ edith_widder_the_weird_and_wonderful_world_of_bioluminescence
STEP 2 : Introduction of Project:
Share the design brief with students. Students will build a 3D model of a bioluminescent invertebrate out of paper clay. They will poke holes where the invertebrate emits bioluminescence.
STEP 3 : Research and Art Component:
Introduce website for students to visit (http:// melindajhs.wix.com/livinglight) spend some time looking at different species and then choosing the one invertebrate that they are most interested in. At this point, students will be making observational drawings in art class on black paper with craypas.
STEP 4 : Science and English Component
Students complete research on their chosen bioluminescent invertebrate using note taking sheet to later write 5 paragraph essays in English class.
STEP 5 : Art Component:
In art class, students will create a 3D model out of paper clay, which will be a realistic model and will have holes poked where the animal emits bioluminescence from so the animal can have the illusion of glowing later on when placed over the littleBits.
STEP 6 : Science Component:
Perform bioluminescence chemistry experiment. Begin in classroom and finish in blackbox theatre so students can see the chemical reaction properly. http://www.scienceinschool.org/content/living-light-chemistry-bioluminescence
STEP 7 : Putting it together:
Once 3D models are completed and painted in art class, back in science class, students will make circuits using littleBits to observe them glow!
STEP 8 : Showcase:
Invite younger students and parents to a Showcase to highlight students’ learning and glowing models!