Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Fruit Fly Lifecycle Experiment for Kids

fruit fly experiment for kids

I know, I know...why on earth do I want to attract fruit flies?!  I don't, but Little J is studying insects at school and this project is one of the "extra" fun things on his list to do at home. 
fruit fly experiment

a jar
an overripe banana
a rubber band
a piece of cloth
a calendar page

fruit fly experiment for kids

Peel an overripe banana and place a piece of it in an open jar.  Then, set the jar outside and wait for fruit flies to find it.  If there are fruit flies around, they will start to appear around the banana in a few days.  Wait until there are a few flies inside the jar and then cover the jar with a piece of cloth, secure with a rubber band.  Watch what happens...

fruit fly lifecycle experiment
Little J started with about 4 flies in the jar.  There was very little activity after about a week.  However, in what seemed like overnight around week 2, there were probably 50 flies in the jar.  We took them outside and let them go.  The inside of the jar was pretty gross, but you could see a few different stages of fruit fly development in progress.  We replaced the cloth over the jar and waited to see what happened next....which was more fruit flies.  
fruit fly lifecycle experiment

Make sure to write down when you start the project and observations along the way on the calendar page. 

This link at Pestworld for Kids provides information to assist kids in doing a full science fair experiment with fruit flies (including forms) and explains their life cycle very well.

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Linking to:  Science Sunday at Adventures in Mommydom


Wonder Mom said...

Disgusting-yes, but my kiddos would LOVE it!!!

Raising a Happy Child said...

Ewwww... You stop at nothing on the road to science :)

Phyllis said...

It reminds me of the days before the microscope when people thought that life came from "spontaneous generation" because the covered a jar just like you did and then the fruit flies spontaneously appeared. They couldn't imagine things could be smaller than they could see.

Natalie said...

Reminds me of a university project I did for genetics class...we started with two "parent" fruitflies, and once we had a bunch we had to put them to sleep temporarily and determine their eye colour and a bunch of other traits, make a chart, and figure out which fruit flies from the original batch were "our" parents.

Books4Learning said...

Awesome experiment!

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Who knew that old banana on my counter was really a science experiment in progress :)