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Ecology Fair University of Minnesota Monarch Lab

Abstracts from Highland Elementary 2005

Highland Elementary
1700 Saunders
St. Paul, MN 55116

Year: 2005
Teacher(s): Eileen Cotter

Girl Power or Insect Power?

Naomi A, ZamZam A

    Our question is "Which is stronger, a 5th grade girl or an insect?"  The insects we will use for our experiment are short-horn stag beetles (bess bugs) and hissing cockroaches.  Our hypothesis is that the 5th grade girl will be the strongest.
    We will make "harnesses" for each of the insects and make a "sled" out of a petri dish to attach to the harnesses.  Then we will put pennies in the "sled" and let both the beetles and the roaches try to pull it a set amount of distance.  We will add a penny for each test until it is too heavy to pull.  We will then weigh the insects, weigh the amount that each was able to pull and figure out what percentage of its body weight it is able to pull. 
    Then we will do the same with the 5th grade girl.  We will have her pull a "sled" with weights until it is too heavy to pull.  Then we will weigh the girl and how much she was able to pull and figure out the percentage of her body weight she is able to pull.
    We will graph the results and form a conclusion.


Heat and Eat!

Feliceana Z, Olivia D

    Our question was "Does temperture affect how quickly a dermestid beetle will eat a dead mouse?"  Our hypothesis was that raising the temperature will speed up the eating and lowering the temperature will slow down the eating.
    We made three separate environments for colonies of dermestid beetles that were the same in every way except the temperature.  One was left in regular room temperature, one with a heat source on the bottom of the habitat, and one was put in the refrigerator.  Each colony of beetles was given one "fuzzy" mouse that we got frozen from the pet store.
    Our conclusion was that the beetles in the heated environment ate more quickly than the beetles in room temperature, and both the ones in the heated environment and the ones in room temperature ate more quickly than the beetles in the refrigerator.


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