Sep 7: Firefly Creations

Under the ice, and making fireflies with pasta!

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Below are some talking points and activities to pass the time, all relating to today’s story.

Talking points

Discuss the ideas presented in the story with your family—at home or over video conferencing. Find ways to involve as many people as possible, especially those who you know are isolated by the lock-down.

  • Looking at the top image, how would you feel about diving through a 1.2m hole in the ice – would you feel claustrophobic? Would being tethered help you feel secure? This image shows the world under the ice as very green – was this a surprise to you?
  • The article describes how scientists prepare before to dive in Antarctica – with winter dives in Queenstown’s frozen Lake Alta. What kind of personal qualities would this work require? Do you think many potential scientists get put off the work by the rigorous physical challenges? Why or why not?
  • Antarctic Nemertean worms sound intense – three-metre-long worms that defend themselves by secreting acidic mucus and harpoon their prey with a retractable, barbed proboscis. Which other creatures did you find interesting or surprising to see in the images, or read about?
  • Increased carbon dioxide in the world’s atmosphere will affect Antarctic waters rapidly because carbon dioxide is more soluble in cold water. How does this make the Antarctic vulnerable to climate change?
  • At the end of the article, Antarctica is described as an “engine room of productivity that flushes the world’s oceans with nutrients.” What do you understand this to mean? What are the implications for our oceans, if the necessary levels of sea ice are not present?

Activity: Firefly Creations

Using expired pasta, paint and a sprinkle of creativity, the pasta-bilities are endless. These easy-to-make bugs are a great way to use up those leftover pieces of pasta at the back of the cupboard.

You will need:

  • Paint in your choice of colours
  • Wooden beads or blanched peanuts
  • Large pasta shells or real seashells
  • Pasta bow ties
  • Bamboo skewers
  • Small craft googly eyes
  • Hot glue gun
  • Small craft brush

Step One: Assemble your supplies. If you don’t have these exact items get creative with other items in your home.

Step Two: Begin by painting the pasta shells in your first colour.

Step Three: Paint each of the pasta bow ties in different colours.

Step Four: To make the head of the firefly, use a hot glue gun to glue a wooden bead, or half a blanched peanut, to the end of a long bamboo skewer.

Step Five: To make the wings, glue the pasta bow ties underneath the head. Make the body by gluing the pasta shells on underneath.

Step Six: Finish the firefly by gluing on two googly eyes onto the head. Or you could paint them on using black and white paint.

Send us a picture of your firefly creations!