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Ecology Fair University of Minnesota Monarch Lab

Abstracts from St. Odilia 2004

St. Odilia
3495 Victoria St N
Shoreview, MN 55126

Year: 2004
Teacher(s): Caroline Waskow

Ant Race

Mary Claire L

The project was to get an average of how fast ants are in the neighborhood. Eight (random) ants ran through a maze made by Mary while being timed. The point of racing was to see how fast ants really are.The average time of an ant in the neighborhood is 1 minute and 93 seconds. It was surprising that the small ants were the slowest and the big ants were the fastest because I thought that the small ants would be the fastest because small ants have less weight to run with. The big ants proved to be the fastest.


Ants in Captivity

Tara F


Chatty Crickets

Andrew M

Crickets were put into a small container and their chirps were counted for two periods in the morning (8:00 a.m. &, 8:30 a.m.), one period in the afternoon (4:15 p.m.), and two periods at night (8:30 p.m. & 9:00 p.m.). Their chirps were averaged out for the day, afternoon, and at night and the data was recorded on a graph. The purpose was to learn when the crickets prefer to chirp. The results were that the crickets preferred to chirp most in the evening, followed by morning and afternoon. Some uncertainties were the limited sample size, the number of males and females, and also the environment. Some new things that were learned from this experiment were that crickets are not smart and would drown themselves if a dish of water were put into their cage, and also that they had a short life expectancy and they died in a few days time.


Do Ants Prefer a Certain Food Source?

Kelly Q

Ants were recorded on which food source (sugar, water, saturated sugar water) they consumed. The purpose was to see if ants had a preference on a certain food source. The results of this experiment were that the ants were not attracted to neither of the food sources.


Got Food?

Emil W

Darkling beetles were put in a container with apple on one side and meal on the other. This was done to see which food source darkling beetles preferred. At first the darkling beetles went to the apples instead of the meal. Over time they went to the meal more and more. One thing that may have influenced the results are that the apples were never changed and weren’t fresh. Another thing that influenced the results is that only 18 beetles were used and the beetles were all different ages. I learned that the darkling beetles prefer meal over a long period of time, but when the apple is fresh they prefer apple.


Got Growth?

Thomas B, Max R

Six monarch larva were tested to see whether they would grow better in the light or in the dark. We wanted to test this because we heard a rumor from a friend that the monarch larva die when they have to live in the dark. We found that the larva in the light grew the fastest but two out of three of the larva in the light died. Only one of the larva in the dark died, but they did grow more slowly. One uncertainty includes the limited sample size. Another would be the temperature because the larvae in the light could have been warmer than the larvae in the dark since the lamp they were near could have given off heat. The monarch larva that lived in the dark was only in the light for about ten minutes every day during the time that they were measured. Two things that we learned were: one) You can not expect to get a certain result when doing and experiment, and, Two) The sample size in actually a really important factor because the more you have the more accurate your results are.


Got LIght?

Kevin H

The purpose of this project was to use different types of lighting found in most houses to find out which light moths liked better. When the experiment started, 75 and 150 watt for a black, florescent, and incandescent lights, where turned on. The results of this project were that the moths preferred the incandescent light over the black and florescent lights. Two things that we uncovered in the background research were that moths react positively to light and cockroaches react negatively to light. Also, moths don’t like different colors of light.


What Mealworms Like Best - Hot or Cold?

Edward W

I put 20 meal worms in a container with an ice pack under one side and a hot pad under the other side. I did this because I wanted to know what temperature the meal worms like most. The results showed the meal worms like the cold better. The hot pad might have been too hot for the meal worms. The container was sometimes a little more on the cold side, which is why they may have ended up on that side. l learned the meal worms liked the cold better and meal worms are hard to pick up when they are on a flat surface. What would happen if the heating pad and ice pack were inside the cage instead of outside the cage? what if I used a different source of heat and cold?


Why do Cockroaches Hiss?

Danny K

The Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches (Maddie and Hissie) were put into a small container. I was interested in what sort of defense mechanisms cockroaches use and when. The results were that the cockroaches never fought over territory or the food given to them. They did hiss everytime they were picked up. The findings could be unclear because of the following. What if the cockroaches were both male? What if less food would have been given to them? What if they had come from somewhere other then a pet store? What if they were together in a smaller cage? The following was learned. Cockroaches hissed when they were picked up. Cockroaches did not hiss over food. Cockroaches did not hiss over territory.


Wooly Bears and Winter Weather

Shelby P, Chelsea W

The project was to find out if wooly bear caterpillars can predict the extremeness of the winter weather. The question was chosen because there is a myth that humans can use wooly bear caterpillars to predict winter weather extremes. The results that were found stated that it should be an extreme winter this year, because all the wooly bears found had a stripe under 50% of the total length. There were not very many wooly bears found, therefore, the results could be inaccurate because not much of the wooly bear population was represented. It was learned that this was a very strange year, so wooly bears were very hard to find.


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