University of Minnesota

Ecology Fair University of Minnesota Monarch Lab

Abstracts from Northdale Middle School 2018

Northdale Middle School
11301 Dogwood St NW
Coon Rapids, MN 55448

Year: 2018
Teacher(s): Kelly Langton

A Tiny Experiment

Ethan H, Cassandra H

We studied macroinvertebrates’ number difference in a runoff creek verses a pond. The purpose was to see the difference in the number of macroinvertebrates in a runoff compared to an actual water source. State the results, including which hypothesis was supported by the study. We concluded that the pond had more macroinvertebrates, most likely due to less pollution. An uncertainty that might’ve happened was that we didn’t differ the samples from throughout the creek, especially since if we found a flowing area, it was more likely to have macroinvertebrates. We learned that macroinvertebrates are really hard to catch, considering that most are smaller than half a centimeter. There are also a surprising number of more types of macroinvertebrates than initially thought by both of us.

Agriculture vs. Aquiculture: The battle between earth and water!

Justin S

           Most plants can grow in with various methods with different degrees of efficiency. Hydroponic gardening and soil gardening are the two most widespread methods internationally. Hydroponic is said to be faster but requires more effort, money and skill; Whereas soil is the good old method anyone can learn and execute. With a simple, primitive test, I will determine which method germinates a bean seed faster as a baseline benchmark for the broader subject. This tell will determine not only the speed; But also the efficiency of each method. 

An Apple A Day Keeps the Doctor Away. But What Keeps the Brown Away?

Bellamy J

I cut an apple in half then, I coated one side with citric acid lemon juice and the other half was my control group. Next, I took a picture of the apple once every hour. This experiment is to see if adding a natural preservative to an apple would slow down the ripping rate it.  Although I'm not done I found out that a cut apple that is refrigerated only lasts for 3 to 5 days. So I can make a guess that the lemon juice coated apple would last for multiple hours in room temperature. A future question that I have is, does the type of apple affect how fast it rots. Overall, this experiment could help people know if natural preservatives actually work. 

Are birds night crawlers or early walkers?

Mariam C, Dru D

For our project we wanted to see if birds migrated at night or during the day. So, at 8 am and 8 pm we went outside for 15 minutes and counted every bird we saw or heard. During the nighttime we heard 1 bird. But during the day we saw or heard 80 birds. Our H1 was supported, our H1 was; We will hear more birds during the day then in the night time. Some uncertainties we had were; time of year, location, also the fact that we were by a lake which attracted more ducks. Two things that we learned were birds do like to migrate during the day and there are fewer birds during November then there would be in the summer. 


Ryan G, Eamonn M

Chemicals released into our atmosphere are making their way down into our planets rain. Acid rain can get into the ground and potentially affect the growth of plants. The purpose of this project is to look at what effect does simulated acid rain have on the growth of grass?   One set of seeds was watered with normal water while the other set of seeds was watered with “acid rain”. The acid rain is a 3:1 ratio 3 cups water to 1 cups lemon juice. The lemon juice mimics the acidic chemicals in acid rain. We measured the heights, found the average and compared the results, we measured a .3 cm difference (3 mm). The water was the higher height, that supported our H1 hypothesis.


Bird Field Study

Talaan C

In this experiment I'll be trying to learn which habitat bird prefer in this time of the year (Fall/Winter). I want to learn what habitat birds like for if you wanna know what trees or habitats to get rid of or you want to attract as many birds as you can for a birdhouse or a bird feeder. I’ll be going to two different locations or the same amount of time and recording how many birds I see in each location. I’ll be trying to identify ea h bird that I see, I’ll also attempt to figure out what is attracting the bird to the location such as a flowers or tree. I hope this information helps you understand my experiment better.

birds living in Minnesota during winter

Ty H, Alex D

Everyone knows about birds. The things that fly around and eat bugs and our picnic food. You know those sky rats. But did you know that there are 1107 different types of birds in the united states alone! In the state that I live in called Minnesota also with my partner there are about 246 different birds here. In the winter most birds head south. But In our experiment we will sit outside and count, photograph, and then identify the remaining birds. We most likely will sit on our roofs with cameras and we will most likely make a small shelter (we won’t be on the same roof). After we will make graphs with the names of the bird and what type hawk or etc.

Birds of a Feather

Eleanor H

The purpose of this study was to see if the location of a feeder affected the diversity of birds visiting it. 
In order to do this, I placed a feeder with birdseed in it in my backyard and took notes of what birds I saw. I then did the same in the park. In my backyard I saw chickadees, blue jays, ducks, Dark eyed juncos and a woodpecker. In the park I saw house sparrows. I concluded that there was more bird diversity in my backyard. I wasn't sure if the weather, mainly the snow that had come recently had affected my results.

Can birds sense the weather?

Emma A

My project is a field study of how the weather affects the types of birds and how many birds I see at my feeders. I chose this project because I wanted to be able to inform people who enjoy birdwatching as to which days birds would most likely be seen and which types of birds will be seen. Some examples of results I found were that on warmer days with temperatures around 55 degrees F with sun and no wind, birds such as Chickadees, Finches and Nuthatches would most commonly be seen at my feeders. On cooler days, around 35 degrees F with clouds and a mild wind, birds such as Junkos, Downy and Red Bellied Woodpeckers would mostly be seen at my feeders. 

Does Temperature Affect How Many Birds Are Flying?

Nicholas N

The purpose of my Field study is to observe if birds have a preferred temperature to be active. I conducted my project by going outside for 10 days, measuring the temperature and counting the number of birds I saw flying. My results were that at a lower temperature the birds were more likely to stay in the homes rather than to fly around, at warmer temperatures the birds we more active and flew around a lot. In conclusion, birds are more likely to be flying in warmer temperatures because when it is cold they have to conserve body heat and stay warm.


How straight can you walk?

Zachary A, Alex Y

For our project we wondered how your vision can affect your ability to walk in a straight line well you are disoriented. During our experiment we will place tape in a straight line. Then we will get four people of different age and gender to walk on the line, with and without a blindfold. We must keep in mind the time of day and the weather. After they walk we will measure how far they veered off the original course.
















Oops! I Watered my Grass with Caffeine!

Heraan A

For my project I chose to test the effects caffeine has on the growth of grass. I planted grass seeds into four pots and allowed them to germinate. Once they germinated I watered two of the pots with water that contained two dissolved caffeine tablets, and the other two pots with normal tap water. The pots that contained the tablets were labeled B, and D, while the pots with normal tap water were labeled A, and C. I watered the grass twice a day, watering them with half a cup of water in and morning and half a cup of water at night. Then I measured the height of the grass every four days and recorded the data down in a notebook for twenty-four days.

Owl the birds you see

Nathan H

The reason I chose to study locations and their effect on the number of birds is because I was curious on if the birds would prefer to live near the water or more in an open space. The way I planned to answer my question was I picked two locations, my backyard and a pond, and I spent 20 days, 10 days per location, gathering data. After these 20 days of observations, the data showed that there are more birds near the pond than in my backyard. So what I concluded from this experiment is that birds prefer to live around, or at least stop at during migration, bodies of water.

Rabbit No! Duck No! What is it?

Ramsha H

This experiment was conducted to see if gender affects how males and females perceive different optical illusions. The question I investigated was: How does gender influence visual perceptions? I showed 5 different optical illusions to both boys and girls and I recorded what they saw. I conducted 10 trials and then I averaged the data. I found out,  that girls are better at perceiving images than boys. The age might have had minimal effects on what both genders saw. Their eyesight might have affected what they saw. This could have caused the data to be inaccurate.


Seeds and Mealworms? What a Feast!

Isabelle M

The purpose of this field study is to see whether the birds in my area prefer mealworms or seeds. This field study is being conducted to help inform people, especially consumers, as to what type of bird food they should get in the winter to put in their bird feeders. To figure this out, I put the two kinds of bird food in feeders and measured how many birds came to each one for half an hour every day for ten days. Once I was done with the data collection, I concluded that the birds immediately favored the seeds and stayed longer at the feeder with the seeds. I also found that very few birds went to the feeder with mealworms.


Sensational Squirrels

Stefan M, Aly S

This experiment was conducted to see if more or less squirrels were seen in different areas.  The question we wanted to answer was: Does the location affect the number of squirrels seen?  What we did during our experiment was we all went out in our backyards and during 20 minute periods on different days and we counted the number of squirrels seen.  We also took into account what kind of vegetation is in our yards and how that may affect the number of squirrels.  Our results showed that more squirrels were found in Blaine backyards rather than Coon Rapids backyards.  Some uncertainties we ran into was if the weather had an affect. Also, if the time of year has any affect on the squirrels seen.  

Sense-ational: Gender Differences in Touch Perception

Andrew G

The primary sensory cortex and the nervous system work together to react to physical interactions. I did this project to research touch receptors between genders. The equipment used was a marker and a ruler. The first step of my experiment was to gather ten boys and ten girls. Then I started testing them. I told each person to hold out their dominant arm. I put a dot somewhere on their hand and then asked them to put a dot where they felt it without looking. I would then measure the distance between the points. In the end the results claimed that girls have a slightly smaller margin between the two points. This means that girls’ touch receptors are more sensitive than boys’.


The Bird Whisperer

Manuel S, Christian W

Our project is about How does nature effect birds lifestyle? Like migration for example. Why do they have to migrate and how or what are the dangers of migration. Or a big one like mating season. Like when do they mate? Or is there anything that will effect when they start mating. And last but not least their location. Such as where do I find them. Or what can attract them and how do I get birds to where I want them like my backyard. People think they know so much about birds and our stem fair project will prove them wrong.

The Green Machine: Different Biogasses Make Energy

Shane K

The purpose of my experiment was to show how we can make energy out of different wastes that are endangering our environment. To shine some light on a specific type of renewable energy. Biogas. To do my experiment, I put different organic wastes into a bottle. Each had cow manure, one was only manure, which acted as my control group. While the other two had other stuff added to them, but less manure. Things like vegetable peelings and mashed banana. Then I will put a balloon over the bottles and record how much the balloons blow up each day by measuring their circumference. I'm doing seven trials of each. But my experiment is not complete and is still ongoing to ensure accurate results.

What food do birds prefer?

Henry D

  The project that my partner and I are conducting is about birds. The purpose of my of our project is to find out which type of bird food (corn and sunflower seed) do birds prefer the most. To conduct this experiment my partner and I will build bird feeders, hang them up, and record the number observed at each bird feeder. Our null hypothesis is that there will be the same number of birds at each bird feeder. Hypothesis 1 is that there will be more birds observed at bird feeder A, which has the corn. Hypothesis 2 is that there will be more birds observed at bird feeder B, which has the sunflower seeds.


Will it burn?

Muhammad A


    My project was about the effects of acid rain on grass. I was working alone on my project and the project was completed on November 7th of 2018. The purpose of my project is to find how acid rain affects grass. If we found this out we could know if it can help the growth or wreck our grass. That grass actually helps grass grow faster and stronger. Some conclusions we can draw are that acid rain doesn’t actually wreck our grass and we don’t need to be worried about our grass. Now we can have our grass safe in places where there is a lot of acid rain. So like most people hypothesize that acid rain burns our grass it actually doesn't.

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