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Ecology Fair University of Minnesota Monarch Lab

Abstracts from Other 2011

Other
(Various), MN

Year: 2011
Teacher(s): Annette Strom, Karla Bisco, sevve stember

Chirping Crickets?

Rowan K

Our class spent time observing various insects this fall. One day we got what looked like medium sized cricket to observe and they chirped a lot. The next day we got what looked like large crickets to observe and they didn’t chirp as much. So, this made us wonder how the size of the crickets affects the chirping habits. We tested this question by putting small, medium, and large crickets in separate bins. We put each bin in a dark room and every hour during the school day we listened for how many times we heard chirping coming from each bin. We collected this data for three days.


Cockroach vs. Moisture

Sofia M, Ivy G, Chase D

We posed the question: Does the amount of moisture in the Madagascar hissing cockroaches habitat affect where the cockroaches spend time?  We were curious about this question because we knew that in Madagascar the weather is more humid than Minnesota, where it is drier.   We wondered if they would prefer a habitat closer to their natural home.  To test this question, we divided a bin into three equal parts and added soil to each part.  Next, we added no water, 10 milliliters, or 30 milliliters of water to each zone.  Then we collected data for two days to see which zones the cockroaches occupied.


Crickets in the Dark

Seaver K

We spent some time observing crickets this fall. This activity led us to be curious about what kind of environment crickets prefer. We noticed crickets spent a lot of time under the newspaper in the bin. This inspired us to test the question: “How does the amount of light affect where the crickets are in their habitat?” To test this question we put black paper over and around half of a bin and let light in the other side. We put a divider over the entrance of the dark side with enough room for crickets to freely go between each side. Our group observed where the crickets were every hour during the school day for three days.


Does Burrowing Equal Dark?

Elias K

The question we tested was “Does the amount of light affect the location of the false death head cockroaches in our bin?” We wondered this after observing the cockroaches and seeing how much they burrow. This made us question if the cockroaches would like the light zone or dark zone of a bin. To test this question, we divided a bin in half and put black paper all around one half. We let light in on the other side. Every hour during the school day we documented how many cockroaches we noticed on each side. After analyzing our data our group decided the H1 hypothesis was supported: The cockroaches spent more time in the dark zone than in the light zone.


Escaping Box Elder Bugs

Jack W

The question “How does the substrate type affect the location of the box elder bugs?” was asked by Jack and Azrael. They chose this question because they noticed the box elder bugs kept trying to get out of the container in our classroom. The substrate in that container was soil and leaves. This made them wonder if they would prefer a different substrate. To answer their question Jack and Azrael divided a container into three equal parts. In each zone they put perlite, sand or woodchips. During the school day, for three days they checked every hour to see where the box elder bugs were in the container.


Freaks of Nature!

Garrett B, Connor R, Nora B, Anna R, Kyra P, Lilly M, Sarah P

This museum exhibit shows an "Insect Freakshow" where world record holding insects are on display. Come see them....if you dare!


Mn Point vs WI Point: Species richness and biodiversity

Brooke D


Moisture Overload

Levi H

We spent time observing false death head cockroaches during science class.  We noticed when our teacher sprayed water in their containers, the cockroaches would move around a lot.  This made us wonder: How does the amount of moisture affect where the false death head cockroaches spend time?  To answer this question we divided a bin into three equal parts and put sand in each section.  Then, we put no water, 30 milliliters or 70 milliliters of water in each zone.  During the school day, for three days we checked every hour to see where the cockroaches were in the container. 


Monarchs: Caterpillars vs Butterflies Is there a correlation in their patterns?

Ellie F

In my project,I studied the body and wing patterns of monarchs.  I wanted to know if there was a correlation in the number/color of stripes on monarch caterpillars and the wing length/spots on edges of wings on monarch butterflies. To do this, I photographed the monarchs beside a ruler, then recorded their, size, color, amount of spots, etc. My results showed that the more white or black the caterpillars were, the less healthy they were, and the more yellow they were the healthier they were. All caterpillars had the same number of stripes, and the butterflies number of spots seemed random. In the future, I would like to have a larger and healthier test group, and compare more factors such as milkweed, gender etc.


The Great Milkweed War

Maddy O, Sylvie B

We chose to see the differences in growth of monarch larvae consuming swamp vs common milkweed.  This is important so we can know which milkweed could be planted to benefit the monarchs.  Sylvie hypothesized that the swamp milkweed, which was slightly darker and might have more nutrients, would make monarchs grow larger.  Maddy thought that the common milkweed would make the monarchs grow more because it seemed bigger and more dense. For our experiments, Maddy weighed the monarchs and Sylvie measured the length.  Sylvie had a very low survival rate, but Maddy found monarchs on swamp had an average of 1.42 grams, and the common 1.35 grams right before forming a J.  This leads us to conclude that swamp milkweed may help monarchs grow larger.


The Interesting Truth or Is It?

Olive H

After observing false death head cockroaches, we brainstormed the question, “How does the substrate type affect how many times we notice the cockroaches are in each zone?” We chose this question to test because when observing the cockroaches we noticed they were in one kind of environment. This made us wonder if they would prefer a different substrate. To test this question, we separated a bin into three equal zones, then we put different substrates in each one. The three substrates we chose were sand, perlite and vermiculite. Every hour during the school day we tallied which zone we saw the cockroaches spending time. We collected data for three days to see what we would discover.


Water Avoidance?

Violet S

This fall we spent time observing Madagascar hissing cockroaches. We noticed that when someone sprayed water in the cockroach container to keep it moist, the cockroaches would run away. This made us wonder if the cockroaches didn’t like water. To study this wondering we posed the question: “How does the amount of moisture in the substrate affect how many times the hissing cockroaches are in each of the environments?” To test this question we divided a bin into three equal parts and put sand in each one. Next, we added no water, 30 milliliters, or 60 milliliters of water to each zone. During the school day, for three days we checked every hour to see where the Madagascar hissing cockroaches were in the container.


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