Spiders and Silk

The spiders are an amazingly diverse group. Some of these stations investigate spider’s various foraging strategies, including the many ways that spiders use silk. Others give participants a chance to hear spider sounds and watch spider dances. A read-aloud station is designed for younger participants.

Read Aloud

This station enables participants to play with some arachnid stuffed animals, puzzles, and to look through arachnid-related children’s books. Several books are listed as suggestions for read alouds.

Spider Dance Disco

Not only can spiders sing, but they can also dance! Participants can observe some of the amazing dances that spiders do and can learn some of their own spider dance moves by watching the “Spider [...]

Sound Station

Most people do not realize that some spiders can “sing” in the form of stereotyped vibrations that are sent through a substrate, or surface upon which they are standing (e.g. a leaf, a twig, a [...]

Silken Spinners

This station provides some “down time” for participants, where they can sit and watch the amazing footage and associated information put together by the BBC in David Attenborough’s “Silken [...]

Tissue Paper Flower

This station lets the audience create their own tissue paper flower upon which their chosen crab spider (made of paper) can forage. It introduces the fact that some spiders can change color and [...]

Catch a Moth

This station highlights the unique foraging strategy of the ‘bolas spider’ through a game in which participants try to catch a moth out of the air using a lasso.

Weave a Web

Orb webs (the classical web most non-biologists envision when asked to think of a spider web) are quite complex structures. How do spiders build orb webs? Do they use the same type of silk for [...]

Build a Burrow

The first spiders didn’t build orb webs to catch prey out of the air, but instead, built silk-lined burrows with trapdoors. This station explores the early function of spider silk.