University of Minnesota

Ecology Fair University of Minnesota Monarch Lab

Abstracts from Cloquet Middle School 2009

Cloquet Middle School
509 Carlton Ave
Cloquet, MN 55720

Year: 2009
Teacher(s): Cindy Edwardson, Cynthia Welsh

Chirping Crickets!: What effect does temperature have on how much crickets chirp?

Anthony D

Cricket chirping can be a nice sound on a summer night. Crickets like to eat organic material such as decaying plants fungi and seedlings of plants. They live in shady areas and also in logs and road sides. In their ecosystem they renew soil minerals. The question is what effect does temperature have on how much crickets chirp? The hypothesis is if crickets are in different temperatures, then their chirping will be affected. Twelve crickets were placed, six each in a plastic shoe box container. One container had a warming rock under it and the other did not. Three male and three female crickets were placed in each box. Chirping and behaviors were noted. Results pending.

Crayfish Habitat/Basalt Particle Size Preference

Dakota B, Erika G

This project looks at what effect substrate grain size of basalt rock has on crayfish habitat preference. Twelve crayfish were daily offered substrate choices of basalt clay, basalt sand, and basalt gravel and their habitat preference was recorded. Results are pending.

Food Preference of Captive Ladybugs

Alex O, Libby C

What do ladybugs prefer to eat in captivity, when small insects aren't readily available? Hippodamia convergens were offered a choice of raisins, bananas, apples, or juice on a sponge. Fruit flies were also available. The number of ladybugs on each food type was tallied over several days to determine preference. Results are pending.

Mealworm Mealtime: What effect does what mealworms eat have on how they grow?

Emily U, Lexus W

Mealworms are the larva form of the mealworm beetle, Tenebrio molitor. Like all holometabolic insects, they go through four life stages. The stages are the egg, the mealworm, and the pupa and then into the beetle. The skin splits open and instead of the pupa it turns into the adult beetle (Mosbacker, 2009). The question is what effect does what mealworms eat have on how they grow? The hypothesis is if mealworms eat oatmeal, then they will grow the most. Three sets of three mealworm larva were placed in three sets of three Petri dishes. In each set of three, one Petri dish had 10 milliliters of cricket food, oatmeal and corn meal. Each day the larva mass and length were recorded. Results pending.

The effect of milkweed species on monarch larvae life span

Rony H

Common milkweed and tropical milkweed were fed to monarch butterfly larvae to determine if their lifespan was affected by the milkweed species eaten. All larvae died before the crysalis stage, but life span data to this point,including larval weight, was collected and compared to type of milkweed eaten. Results are pending.

The effect of road runoff and the presense of earthworms on grass growth.

Carley Marie C

Road runoff is one of the biggest pollution problems for our local water ways. We all need to work to help this situation by properly disposing of toxic chemicals. The question is what effect do the chemicals from road runoff have on grass? The hypothesis is that oil will have the most effect on grass growth over road salt, soap or bleach. Twenty-five plastic posts were filled with potting soil and 25 grass seeds were planted and allowed to grow. Then 1% mixtures of oil, soap, salt and bleach were made and placed in spray bottles. Twenty-five more grass seeds were planted in each pot and each set of five pots were sprayed with three sprays daily. A second set of 25 pots had a worm added. Results pending.

The effect of road runoff on the macroinvertebrate population in Scanlon Creek.

Emily C

Scanlon Creek is a local trout stream that enters the St. Louis River. Macroinvertebrate populations are an important part of the trout’s food source. The question is what effect does road runoff entry have on macroinvertebrate populations on Scanlon Creek. The hypothesis is that road runoff will negatively effect macroinvertebrate populations. Six kick net samples were taken before and after a road runoff site. Oxygen, temperature, conductivity and water pH was also measured. Macroinvertebrates were identified using Hilsenhoff’s Biotic Index and organic pollution was calculated. Results pending.

Warrior Worms: The effect of earthworms on northern Minnesota forests

Mikaylee C, Chloe K

Earthworms are often thought of as good for the soil. After the last glaciation, the top soil with worms was removed and northern MN forests floors formed without earthworms. The questions are what effect does the type of tree leaf have on earthworm consumption? The hypothesis is that earthworms will eat more sugar maple leaves. Six plastic containers were filled with 100 milliliters of sand, next garden soil and topped with tree grams of one type of leaf material (cedar, red pine, sugar maple and white oak). Six containers for each leaf type. One earthworm was added to each container and left for two weeks. After two weeks the leaves were removed, dried and their mass taken. Results pending.

Wet vs Dry Ant Tunneling

Alexa T, Rachel M

Does the wetness or dryness of sand effect ants tunneling abilities? Two ant farm habitats were set up, one with dry sand and one with wet sand. Depth of tunnels in each "farm" were measured and compared, and differences in tunneling patterns were noted. Final results are pending.

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