cricket Chirp Thermometer

In this experiment, you’re going to use the chirping of crickets to tell you the temperature. This experiment can be performed for fun or it can be performed and documented to be used in your science fair project that studies the animals in a particular environment. It takes a bit of time and some mathematical effort, so you may want a parent to help you out! This experiment takes about ten minutes, so it’s a fairly fast process once you have everything that you need.

Note: Make sure your outdoor temperature is between 55 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

What You Will Need:

1 cricket container (A Kritter Keeper can be purchased at your local pet store)

A bunch of crickets (You can either catch wild ones or purchase them at a pet store. Note: Make sure that they are full-grown adult crickets.) If you are in an area that has an abundance of crickets, you can try using their chirps to do the experiment.

1 Outdoor thermometer (To check your answers.)

1 Stopwatch

1 piece of paper

1 pen or pencil

1 calculator (optional)



Step 1: Place your crickets outside after dark.

Step 2: After waiting for your crickets to begin chirping, use your stopwatch to count the number of chirps that you hear in the span of 14 seconds.

Step 3: Write that number down and then add 40 to the number of chirps that you counted. You’re resulting number, after your addition, should be the temperature.

(For example, if you count 20 chirps in the span of 14 seconds and then you add the number 40 to the number of chirps, you should get 60. So you should end up having the temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit.)


Note: To get the temperature for Celsius, you will need to count the number of chirps in the span of 25 seconds. Use that resulting number and divide it by 3, then add 4. You’re resulting temperature should be in Celsius.

(For example, if the crickets chirp 48 times and you divide that number by 3 and then add 4, your resulting answer will be 20 degrees Celsius.)

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