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Mad Science Experiment – Buggy Pooters

Source: Mad Science | 8350 E Evans Drive B5 | Scottsdale | AZ | 85260


Create an insect catch & release device!

What you need

2 fat flexible straws, scissors, a nylon stocking, a small, clear jar with lid, hammer, nail, modeling clay, tape, an adult helper

What you do

1. Ask an adult to punch two holes in the lid. The straws need to fit in the holes.

2. Cut one straw so that the arms on either side of the bend are the same length. Stick the straw through one of the holes in the lid. Cover the inside end of the straw with a piece of the stocking.

3. Stick the short end of the second straw into the lid and seal around it with modeling clay. Screw the lid firmly onto the jar.

4. Hold the open end of the longer straw over some small insects and suck gently through the shorter straw. The insects will be drawn into the jar.

5. Study the insect with a magnifying glass. How many legs does it have? What color is it? Can you see any hairs? Look at their antennae, mouthparts, and color patterns.

6. When you are finished, return the insects to where you found them.

What’s going on?

You made a pooter! A pooter is a device scientists use to pick up small objects, like insects, without hurting them. It is a miniature vacuum cleaner that uses your lungs as the vacuum. When you suck through the short end of the straw, you are creating a vacuum inside the jar. The air around the opening of the long straw is drawn into this vacuum and any insect near the opening will be drawn in as well.

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