Intro: Flightless Fruit Fly Fun
This is what I have to do every month to feed my Poison Dart Frog. Also, it doubles as a great biology project for the life cycle of insects. This is my entry for the Teacher contest, so a vote would be much appreciated.
Step 1: Gather Supplies
For this interesting project you will need:
Fruit Fly Media (If you want to make some yourself you can find a couple of recipes over the internet)
32 oz jars (Glass or Plastic)
Coffee filters or excelsior
Water (Boiling is preferred)
You can get an entire kit for ten cultures for less than $40 including shipping and tax at Josh's Frogs
P.S I got this picture and recipe off their website. So i must give credit where credit is due.
Step 2: Mix Up Some Fruit Fly Food, Mmmmm...
Take your fruit fly media and put 1/2 cup of the media into your insect cup. Then add 2/3 cup water (Boiling is preferred as a mold inhibitor). Then add a pinch of yeast to the culture (No one knows why you do this, but it usually helps). If you really want to make this a learning experience, have your students use different measurements such as 1/2 cup media, 1/2 cup water, and no yeast. Then they could see which cultures produce better according to the different quantities.
Step 3: Put in Some Surface Area
After this, put in your coffee filters or Excelsior. This gives the fruit flies room to walk around and lay their eggs. Once again, you could tell your students to put different types of surface area. Like putting a little excelsior or a lot of coffee filters.
Found Picture on the internet
Step 4: Time to Add the Flies
Then you add the flies. It's generally recommended to add 50 - 100 flies, but, once again, you can turn this into a learning experience. Get your students to add 25 flies or 125 flies. Get them to see which does best.
Step 5: Watching the Flies Grow.
Every day get your students to watch the flies. Make them write every single thing they see in a journal and compare their notes at the end of the month. If their parents permit it, allow them to take their cultures home for closer observation. Most importantly, make it fun for them. No one likes a boring project, so make it as interesting as possible. If you are willing to commit, buy a poison dart frog as a class pet and allow the students to feed it. It will give a point to the experiment, and beautify the room.
Here's a picture of my Dart Frog. Isn't he cute!