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Jitterbug

Going Further

Try attaching legs to a different body, like a plastic bowl or a lid from a pickle jar.

  • Make a jitterbug that draws by attaching paper-clip legs and a motor to a large felt-tip marker for the body.

  • Try adding a switch to the motor and batteries to turn the bug on and off.

  • Add holiday lights for eyes and make them light up with batteries.


Background Science

About Electrical Circuits

Circuit Builder
Learn how to build a circuit by playing this online game.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/podsmission/electricity
Ages: 5-10

Hands-on Physics
See diagrams of different kinds of electrical circuits and learn how circuits work.
http://hop.concord.org/e1/e1ps.html
Ages: 11-18

About Vibrations

Secret Bells Activity
The site shows kids how to make bells and chimes out of forks, spoons, and string, and explains how sound works.
http://www.exploratorium.edu/science_explorer/secret_bells.html
Ages: 5-10

Ear Guitar Activity
The site shows kids how to make a simple intercom with cups, soap, and string, and explains about vibrations and hearing.
http://www.exploratorium.edu/science_explorer/ear_guitar.html
Ages: 5-10

About Insects and Bugs

Let's Talk about Insects
A colorful cartoon-like slide show about insects; there are both English and Spanish versions.
http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/insects/index.html
Ages: 5-10

Koday's Kids Amazing Insects
Photos of more than 50 different insects, from butterflies to stink bugs.
http://www.ivyhall.district96.k12.il.us/4th/kkhp/1insects/bugmenu.html
Ages: 3-18

3D Insects
See 3D bugs and learn how virtual insects are created.
http://www.ento.vt.edu/~sharov/3d/3dinsect.html
Ages: 13+

Roach Anatomy
Look inside a roach and learn about its “guts.”
http://yucky.kids.discovery.com/flash/roaches/pg000096.html
Ages: 11+

Bug Bios
Site-in-progress with photos of insects as well as information about insects in art and history.
http://insects.org/
Ages: 13+

PBS Alien Empire
Play with multimedia presentations and games about bugs, including an “insect scramble.”
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/alienempire/
Ages: 11+


Back to Jitterbug videos


  • Bee Hummer
  • Bottle Blast Off
  • Color Chromatography
  • Cuica
  • Cup Speakers
  • Ice Balloons
  • Jitterbug
  • Sound Sandwich
  • Stripped Down Motor
  • Water Bottle Membranophone
  • Whirling Watcher

Explore more things to make and do

Explore more things to make and do