Study of Light: Bioluminescence


In last Monday's Community Meeting, Third Grade teacher Erika Noel expanded on our study of light by introducing bioluminescence. Bio = life and luminescence = light.

Students watched a demonstration by science teachers Erika and Jon as they conveyed the biochemical reaction and process of how living organisms such as fireflies and deep-sea fish convert chemical energy into light energy. See links to the sample videos in the meeting's slide deck here.

This Monday, Fourth Grade teacher Jon Polly continued our exploration of bioluminescence as Katie Gibbons and Sarah Jashington simulated the experience of looking for dinoflagellates bioluminescence while kayaking in Tomales Bay. See the meeting's slide deck here.

Bioluminescence occurs through a chemical reaction that produces light energy within an organism's body. Tomales Bay, located north of San Francisco near Pt Reyes, is one of the rare locations where bioluminescent dinoflagellates are visible. Dinoflagellates are single-celled plankton with some animal characteristics like locomotion and some plant characteristics, such as photosynthesis.

These amazing plankton produce bursts of light when disturbed, causing the water to glow blue.

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