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Exploring deep coral

Activity Exploring Deep Coral Hero

Corals have adapted in several ways to life on the deep reef. One of the ways that they have adapted is color. Corals on the deep reef tend to be darker.

Ages 11+

20 minutes

This experiment is designed to test the hypothesis that deep reef corals are darker, because they need to absorb more of the available light. To test this, select different coloured materials and place thermometers under them. Shine a light on the different materials or leave in the sun to see how much energy is absorbed by the different colours.

Activity Steps

  1. Make sure that all thermometers are at the (same) room temperature.
  2. Note the temperature of each thermometer.
  3. Place one thermometer under each of the different pieces of material.
  4. Put the thermometers covered by the material under the light source, making sure they are the same distance away (approx. 20cm).
  5. Keep the thermometers there for 15 minutes.
  6. Note the new temperature for each thermometer.

Safety guidance

  • Lamp and thermometers should be used under adult supervision.

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