University of Minnesota

Ecology Fair University of Minnesota Monarch Lab

Abstracts from Weaver Lake Elementary 2011

Weaver Lake Elementary
15900 Weaver Lake Road
Maple Grove, MN 55311

Year: 2011
Teacher(s): Andrea Wilson Vazquez, Krista Paterson, Leeanne Peterson, Lisa Koch, Mary Moran, Matt MacPhail, Richard Veth

Beetle Food Preference Experiment

Karl P, David A, Vy N

We trapped a beetle with a variety of foods to find out if the beetle would eat different foods other than its normal diet (the apple). We learned that darkling beetles eat more than apples and that it is hard to see if they actually eat.

Bess Beetle Terrain Investigation

Chris Y

We did an investigation on 3 Bess Beetles to see how long it will take to get through a track while crawling on different terrain through the track. There are three different terrains. Dirt, Sand, and Playground Gravel. Each terrain contained 8 cups. We let them crawl as far as they can through the track in 5 minutes. None of the Bess Beetles made it all the way through the track. If any of the Bess Beetles crawled out of the track their time was then done. We measured where they had crawled out of the track.

Cockroaches’ Speed on Different Types of Surfaces

Gemechu H

We tested three cockroaches to see how fast they could go on rough and smooth surfaces. The cockroaches went fastest on the smooth surface. Our uncertainty is that cockroach 3 was climbing on the ruler, so that may have affected its time. We learned that cockroaches are faster on smooth surfaces.

Colorful Crawling Millipedes

Ben W, Swansen C

We wanted to know if millipedes preferred light or dark. We timed our millipedes for one minute to see if the millipedes had a preference for light or dark. The results of our investigation are that our millipedes preferred the light colored paper. We learned by this investigation that our millipede can show a preference to light and that millipedes can surprise you!

Crawl, Crawl as Fast as You Can

Riley V, Andrew V

We tested whether a millipede could run faster on sand, dirt, or rock. We found that the substrate, sand, was the fastest surface for the millipede.

Dancin', Crawling, Scuttering Bess Beetles

Angelina O

For my experiment I dipped three Bess Beetles in paint and tested to see how music affected their crawling patterns. I played one of three types of musec at a time for 1 min. 45 sec. I analyzed each track they left on the paper. I learned that each beetle is different so each song had a different effect on them.

Darkling Beetle Texture Investigation

Rebekah K, Samarth S

The purpose of this study was to find out if different textures affect the speed of the beetle. We put a Darkling beetle in a wave tank with different textures on the bottom of the tank and let the beetle crawl for 1 min. We repeated this 3 times for each texture and recorded the data for each. The results were that darkling beetles moved quicker on fabric than the other two textures.

Darkling Beetles: Music

Hugo S

We played different types of music to darkling beetles. We did this to see what type of music they would like the most. The beetles liked rock the most since that was the type of music they walked toward the most. An uncertainty is that some of the beetles would start moving before we started to play the music. We learned that beetles do have ears and that they have a good taste for music!

Hissing Cockroach Runner


We did this investigation to see how long it took the Hissing Cockroach to go from one end if the lane to the other, with or without an incline.  First, we put the Hissing Cockroach on the beginning of our lane and then we timed the Hissing Cockroach to see how long it took it to go from one end of the lane to the other on an incline and without an incline.Our results were that the incline did not really the affect the speed.

Hissing Cockroach Texture Investigation

Emma G

We did our study to see which texture the cockroach traveled fastest on. First we put down different textures on a "course".  Then we had the cockroach run the course to see which texture the cockroach ran fastest on.   We tried each texture three times.    We found out that the cockroach traveled fastest on the sandpaper (fine) 3rd trail at 19.403 seconds long. So the data supports our H1b hypothesis which is that the cockroach will go faster on the fine sandpaper then on the coarse sandpaper or the medium sandpaper or the table or the fabric.

How Does Light Affect the Millipedes’ Speed in Completing a Race Track?

Jazlyn H, Jacara B, Zainab O, Tehya H

We put three millipedes in a race track in the light and timed them. Then we put the race track in the dark and timed the same three millipedes. We did this experiment because we wanted to see if a millipede would go faster in the light or in the dark. The millipedes went faster in the dark. The uncertainty that we had was that we sometimes started the timer a little late. We learned that millipedes move kind of fast in the dark and are scared if you drop them.

How Millipedes' Sense of Smell Affects the Speed in Completing a Labryinth

Kole H, Trevor P

We put the millipedes into a labryinth. We wanted to find out if the type of juice that was dripped onto the labryinth affected how fast it took for a millipede to complete the labryinth. We found that orange juice's and apple juice's smells helped the millipede find the exit.

How the Weight Affects the Speed of a Cockroach

Monica Y, Alec P

We put the cockroaches in a racetrack. We wanted to see if the lighter cockroaches would go faster than the heavier ones. The lightest cockroach went fastest and the heaviest went the second fastest. The medium weight cockroaches went the slowest. One uncertainty is that the cockroaches kept moving on the scale so the weight of the cockroaches could be wrong. We learned that the cockroaches like to move around a lot and the cockroaches like to hide under stuff.

Hungry Darkling Beetles

Noelle D, Taylor N, Hunter M, Ethan C

We observed that Darkling Beetles had carrots and apples in their cage, so we used those in the investigation. We tested to see if more Darkling Beetles would want carrots or apples after they have been without food for 30 hours, by putting the Darkling Beetles in a cardboard box lid and putting the apples on one side and the carrots on the other. The beetles went to the apples more often than the carrots both times. We learned that the Darkling Beetles preferred apples over carrots.

It's Raining Milkweed Bugs

Amina Q, Rachel J

We observed that the milkweed bugs flew often. We wondered if they would fly in the rain. We sprayed a water mist on the bugs. We couldn't get them to fly when they had been sprayed.

Milkweed Bug Feelers

Brianna B, Sukhmani S

We experimented to see how long the milkweed bugs stayed in three different moist soils. We found the bugs spent more time in the wet soil.

Milkweed Bugs

Joey X

We tested to see which gender of milkweed bugs was the faster walker. We knew that the bugs liked to fly so we designed a test area that only allowed the bugs to walk. We found that the females walked faster than the males.

Milkweed Bugs, What Do You Eat?

Terrence K, Kimberly Q

We observed milkweed bugs, and noticed that they were mostly on the milkweed pod, and not on their food. We wondered what they would prefer to eat. To test this, we put milkweed leaves, milkweed pods and milkweed sap in different corners of an aquarium to see which one milkweed bugs would go to most, in order to find out which part of the milkweed they prefer. We don't know for sure, but we think they prefer milkweed pods because they went to the pods more often.

Millipede On The Go!

Abby D, ANTHONY M, Eric B

We did an investigation that tested how long it took a millipede to finish a track that we made. We did this investigation to find out how does the number of times a millipede goes through track affect the speed of it completing the track. We found out that it doesn't affect the time at all.

Monarch Color Preference

Nikita H, Krisha J, Samuella W

We did an investigation on monarchs about how many times the monarch drank the different colored nectar from the cotton balls. We wanted to see if the color of the cotton balls affects how many times the monarch drinks the nectar. It turned out that our investigation supported the null hypothesis.

Monarch Juice Investigation

Camden G, DEREK M, Jophinah T

We did this to find out what kind of nectar the butterflies preferred. We also wanted to see if the school was feeding them correctly. We hung 4 cotton balls from the roof of the cage with the nectar types in them. We fed the monarchs and timed how long they ate. We did it 3 times each with 12 butterflies. 

The butterflies preferred the honey because they ate it for 5 minutes 2 times.

Mountain Climbing Cockroaches

Lawrence R

Muddy Cockroaches

Ethan S, Angela Y, Dominic V, Alexis E

We observed that the cockroaches were living in dry mulch, but we wondered whether they would like wet soil better. Our group decided to investigate what kind of soil they preferred. We used wet soil, dry soil and in the middle, there was no soil. We found out they show no preference for wet or dry soil.

Muddy Millipedes

Lakshi G, Vaishnavi N

We tested to see if millipedes would move faster in dry, moist, or wet soil. We made a maze that the millipedes had to walk through on the different wetnesses of soil. We found that the millipedes moved much faster on the moist soil.

Music Makes a Bess Beetle Move

Dellen W

We tested to see if the Bess Beetle would walk faster to different genres of music. We tested seven different types of music and found that the beetles walked fastest for hip hop music.

Ready, Set, Crawl by Natalie and Taylor

Taylor T, Natalie G

We studied if a millipede's length could affect how fast they could go. We drew a circle on poster board and placed the millipede in the middle. We timed how long it took to crawl out of the circle. We repeated this three times. We found that the longer millipede was faster.

Rolling Beetles

Ian J

Running Bess Beetles

JT A, Luke S

We wanted to find out if the weight of the Bess Beetle affected how far it would walk in 1 1/2 min. We found that the lighter beetle walked farther.

Super Bess Beetles

Grace L, Nick S, Nou Chee T

What we did in this investigation was we saw which soil a Bess Beetle would go to wet or dry soil. The purpose of this study was to see which soil Bess Beetles preferred. What we learned about the Bess Beetles was they would rather chose wet soil than dry soil.

Swimming Cockroaches

Mason C

We tested cockroaches to see how fast they could swim. We compared their swimming speeds in different water temperatures. We found that the cockroaches swam fastest in the 73 degree F water.

The Effect of Music on Cockroaches

Emily S, Amanda C

We put a cockroach in the middle of two yardsticks and put a container on either end. We put music on one end and left the other one empty. Then we left the music on for a minute and 30 seconds, and used 3 cockroaches. The purpose of the study was to see if the cockroaches would respond to music. The cockroaches went towards the hip-hop music when it was playing, and away mostly from the country music. One uncertainty is that the data for the last cockroach could be wrong because we scared it. We learned that just because the music was playing that doesn't mean the cockroach will move.

The Monarch's Amazing Scents

Karina E, Greta S, Ben R

We observed Monarchs drinking nectar in our classroom and wondered how far they could smell and which smell they would be most attracted to. We wanted to find out what scent a monarch prefers: the flower scent, the nectar scent, the apple scent, or the orange scent. Our results were that the Monarch's preferred the flower scent. We learned that the Monarchs seemed to prefer the flower scent and that the Monarchs demonstrate preference for scents.

The Speed of Hissing Cockroaches

Nahiyan S

We wanted to see if a longer cockroach was faster than a shorter one. We found that the longer cockroach was faster.

What Colors Do Bess Beetles Prefer?

Emma M, Ashley D, Abby G

We put three bess beetles on a course with colors around the outside and white in the middle. We put the bess beetle in the middle of the course and watched to see where it went. The purpose of this study was so we can see what their favorite color is and name things in the environment that match that color. The results were that the bess beetles were attracted to brown the most, and then white and black. An uncertainty was that the bess beetles sometimes tried to climb out of the box. We learned that bess beetles prefer dull colors over brighter colors a majority of the time.

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