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Chirping Crickets

based on 2 ratings
Author: Keren Perles

Grade Level: 6th -8th; Type: Biology

Objective:

Crickets chirp by rubbing their forewings together in order to attract mates. In this science project, you will analyze the relationship between temperature and the rate of cricket chirping.

Research Questions:

  • How many times does a cricket chirp each minute?
  • How is the rate of a cricket chirping related to the outside temperature?

If you’ve gone outside on a warm summer evening, you’ve probably heard the crickets chirping away. But why does this only seem to happen on warm nights? In this science experiment, you can explore the connection between outdoor temperature and the chirping of crickets.

Materials:

  • Cricket
  • Stopwatch or clock with second hand
  • Outdoor thermometer

Experimental Procedure:

  1. Locate a cricket. Crickets are easiest to find on warm, dry nights in the summertime.
  2. Set the stopwatch for 15 seconds.
  3. Count the number of chirps the cricket that you chose makes in 15 seconds.
  4. Repeat this process four more times, inserting your results into a table, such as the one below.
  1. Average your results by adding up the number of chirps and dividing by five. Insert this number into the table as well.
  2. Look at the outdoor thermometer and record the temperature in the table as well.
  3. Repeat this over the course of a week or two, listening to a cricket each night that you can find one.
  4. Analyze your data. Is there any connection between the average number of chirps that the cricket made and the outside temperature? You can make a line graph to better understand your results.

Terms/Concepts: How and why do crickets chirp?; When do crickets mate?

References:

  • Experiments You Can Do in Your Backyard, edited by Joanna Callihan and Nathan Hemmelgarn. Page 96.
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