Light It Up!



Did you know that an estimated 90% of sea creatures living in the open ocean can create their own light? Living organisms that can create and emit visible light are called bioluminescent. Examples of marine life that can produce their own light are fish, sharks, jellyfish, algae, octopuses, and squid. The light they produce is the result of a chemical reaction. This light can be used for communication, attracting prey, camoflauge and escaping from predators.

Bioluminescent creatures can be difficult to observe and do research on, so scientists don't know too much about how they use their light. However, this fascinating topic continues to be explored today.


Brainstorm some ways which bioluminescence could help humans with our survival.

In a blog, design a product, equipment or explain an idea of how humans could use bioluminescence to improve our way of life or survival. It could be something that makes humans safer when working in dangerous jobs, or a more planet-friendly product to replace something less environmentally friendly. The creation is up to you!

Learning Objectives

To introduce the concept of biomimicry - humans imitating nature to make products

To understand how humans can learn from the environment and work with nature to help the planet

GRADE: Intermediate, Secondary


Science 7:  Evolution by natural selection provides an explanation for the diversity and survival of living things

Science 8:  Life processes are performed at the cellular level.

Science 9: The biosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere are interconnected, as matter cycles and energy flows through them. 

Science 10:  Energy is conserved, and its transformation can affect living things and the environment.

Environmental Science 11:  Complex roles and relationships contribute to the diversity of ecosystems

Environmental Science 11: Humans can play a role in the stewardship and restoration of ecosystems 

Life Science 11: Evolution occurs at the population level

Life Science 11: Organisms are grouped based on common characteristics 

Environmental Science 12:  Human actions affect the quality of water and its ability to sustain life.

Applied Design, Skills and Technology 7: Design can be responsive to identified needs.

Applied Design, Skills and Technology 7-8:  Complex tasks may require multiple tools and technologies.

Applied Design, Skills and Technology  9: Social, ethical, and sustainability considerations impact design.




  • Choose a design opportunity
  • Identify key features or potential users and their requirements
  • Identify criteria for success and any constraints


  • Generate potential ideas and add to others’ ideas
  • Evaluate personal, social, and environmental impacts and ethical considerations
  • Choose an idea to pursue



  • Evaluate their product against their criteria and explain how it contributes to the individual, family, community, and/or environment 
  • Reflect on their design thinking and processes, and evaluate their ability to work effectively both as individuals and collaboratively in a group, including their ability to share and maintain an efficient co-operative work space
  • Identify new design issues

Identify the personal, social, and environmental impacts, including unintended negative consequences, of the choices they make about technology use

Identify how the land, natural resources, and culture influence the development and use of tools and technologies


Questioning and Predicting

  • Make observations aimed at identifying their own questions about the natural world
  • Demonstrate a sustained intellectual curiosity about a scientific topic or problem of personal interest

Processing and Analyzing Data and Information

  • Use scientific understandings to identify relationships and draw conclusions
  • Use knowledge of scientific concepts to draw conclusions that are consistent with evidence


  • Demonstrate an understanding and appreciation of evidence (qualitative and quantitative)
  • Consider social, ethical, and environmental implications of the findings from their own and others’ investigations
  • Describe specific ways to improve their investigation methods and the quality of the data
  • Consider the changes in knowledge over time as tools and technologies have developed
  • Connect scientific explorations to careers in science
  • Evaluate the validity and limitations of a model or analogy in relation to the phenomenon modelled

Applying and Innovating

  • Co-operatively design projects
  • Transfer and apply learning to new situations
  • Generate and introduce new or refined ideas when problem-solving
  • Contribute to finding solutions to problems at a local and/or global level through inquiry
  • Consider the role of scientists in innovation


  • Communicate ideas, findings, and solutions to problems, using scientific language, representations, and digital technologies as appropriate


Science 7

  • organisms have evolved over time

survival needs

Science 8

  • the relationship of micro-organisms with living things (symbiotic relationships with algae)

Science 9

  • Asexual and Sexual reproduction (through species-specific case study)
  • Matter cycles within biotic and abiotic components of ecosystems (focusing on the twilight zone and abyssal zone ecosystems)

Science 10: 

  • Mechanisms for the diversity of life: mutation and natural selection
  • Energy change during chemical reactions 

Environmental Science 11

  • aquatic abiotic characteristics
  • levels of biotic diversity
  • ecosystem complexity
  • energy flow through ecosystems

Life Science 11

  • sexual and asexual reproduction
  • microevolution: — adaptation to changing environments
  •   trends in complexity among various life forms

Environmental Science 12

  • water quality parameters and bioindicators

Applied Design, Skills and Technology - This activity may be applid to the medium of your choosing (e.g. create a 3D model, visual programming or modeling, business proposition, digital or non-digital media, etc) 

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