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Ecology Fair University of Minnesota Monarch Lab

Abstracts from Cloquet Middle School 2011

Cloquet Middle School
509 Carlton Ave
Cloquet, MN 55720

Year: 2011
Teacher(s): Cynthia Welsh

Catnip for all: The use of organic insect repellants to repel cockroaches?

Kamara L, Braden H

The Madagascar Hissing Cockroach is an interesting animal because supposedly they will eat many odd things. The question is what effect does catnip, bay leaves, cucumber slices, and garlic slices have on where the cockroaches most populate in a cage? The hypothesis is if catnip, bay leaves, and garlic slices are placed in different areas of a cage the cockroaches will avoid those areas, but if cucumbers are in the cage the cockroaches will be attracted to that part of the cage because they eat vegetables. Catnip, bay leaves, cucumber slices, and garlic slices will be placed in different areas of three cages with two cockroaches per cage. Multiple times a day the location of each cockroach will be noted.


Check the shelf life: Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches

Clair F, Samantha S

If you have a cockroach problem then you should keep only certain types of food in your cupboards. The question is what effect does different food options have on the choice of food choice? If I give the cockroach different food choices, than the cockroach will choose mashed potato mix instead of the Rice Chex, Cornmeal, or Quick Oats. In three different cages, four types of food normally found in a kitchen cupboard that are often stored for long periods of times, will be tested (corn meal, oatmeal and rice). Five grams of each food will be placed in the corners of each of the three plastic insect containers, three cockroaches per cage. Cockroach location will be recorded multiple times a day.


Comet Goldfish in the Dark

Gabriella L

Goldfish are believed to be the most popular pet in the world ("goldfish care," 2004-2005). The question is what effect does light (hours of daylight) have on goldfish behavior and growth? The hypothesis is if the hours of light exposure is varied, than light exposure similar to the amount of light experienced by pet goldfish during a Minnesota winter, will result in less active goldfish that eat and grow at a slower rate. Three gallon glass fish tanks will be filled with water and aerated. Three goldfish will be placed in each tank. Each tank will be exposed to different amounts of light within the goldfish’s normal range (12/12; 16/8 and 10/14 hours of light/dark). Fish behavior and mass will be recorded.


Frog Symmetry: What effect does frog body symmetry have on fitness and the likelihood of limb mutation?

Holly M

Frogs are hungry amphibians that will eat just about anything, including insects, other invertebrates? In the wild the percentage of frogs found with limb mutations has risen. The question is what effect does frog body symmetry have on fitness and the likelihood of limb mutation? The hypothesis is if a frog is found with a limb mutation, than the body symmetry of the non mutated limbs will also be affected. Twenty fixed frog skeletons previously collected by a UMD herpetologist will be photographed using a digital camera. Limb lengths and body symmetry will be compared between frogs found to have limb mutations and those without.


Fruit fly families: What effect does the chromosome II mutant gene, vestigial wing, have on first and second generation Drosophila (fruit flies) phenotype when crossed with wild type Drosophila?

Brittney B, Hailey A

Madagascar drosophila is a genus of small flies, belonging to the family Drosopillidae, whose members are often called "fruit flies“(Drosophila, 2011). The question is what effect does the chromosome II mutant gene, vestigial wing, have on first and second generation Drosophila (fruit flies) phenotype when crossed with wild type Drosophila? The hypothesis is if the chromosome II mutant gene vestigial wing Drosophila (fruit flies) are crossed with wild type Drosophila, than the wild type will be dominant and the phenotype (looks like) of the first generation will be wild and the second generation will be 2/3 wild and 1/3 vestigial. Homozygous wild type and mutant vestigial wing type will be crossed. First and second generation phenotype will be recorded to determine gene dominance.


Insects that walk on water: The effect of surfactants (soaps) on a model walking sticks ability to walk on water.

Bryce M

Walking sticks are fun to watch and catch on a summer day. The question is what effect does surfactant contamination have on a model walking sticks ability to walk on water. The hypothesis is that if surfactants contaminate ponds and lakes, than the ability of walking sticks to walk on water will decrease. Model walking sticks will be constructed and three concentrations of surfactant and water will be mixed. The length of time each walking stick stays on the water’s surface will be recorded. Ten trials will be recorded for each concentration of soap and for just water with no soap added.


Light the way: The effect of light on walking stick behavior

Nakita G

There are approximately 3,000 species of Walking Sticks. The question is what effect does light have on how much walking sticks eat and their overall behavior? The hypothesis is if I change the amount of daylight hours a walking stick is exposed to (12/12, 10/24, 18/6-light hours/dark), than their eating habits and behavior will be affected. Three cages with three walking sticks each will be placed in a grow lab for ten days. The mass of each walking stick will be recorded and walking stick activity level and behavior level will be recorded. Results are pending.


Mealtime for Mealworms: What effect does food type (nutritional value) have on the growth of the mealworms?

Pokornowski E, Araya R

Mealworms are good for fishing and studying insects. Mealworms are found under logs, rocks and in burrows of other animals (Tripod, 2011). The question is what effect does food type have on the growth of mealworms? The hypothesis is if the type of food that a population of mealworms are fed is varied, then their growth will be affected. The independent variable is the type of food. The dependent variable is change in mealworm mass. Four sets of three plastic Petri dishes will have 7.25 grams of each food type (corn meal, oatmeal, rice cereal and apple). After ten days the mass change in grams will be measured. The protein, carbohydrates and fat of each food type will be compared. Results pending.


Tomatosphere: What effect does a simulated space and Mars environment have on tomato growth?

CeAnn E

Tomatoes are the perfect food to grow in space. They are rich in vitamin C and many other nutrients. The question is what effect do tomato seeds exposed to a simulated space and Mars environment have on tomato growth? The hypothesis is that tomato seeds exposed to a simulated space and Mars environment will grow just as well as seeds not exposed to space. Three sets of five plastic pots will be filled with potting soil. To each set of five posts three tomato seeds will be planted in each pot. One set of seeds treated to a simulated Mars environment and another space environment. The other set of five seeds will only be exposed to the Earth’s environment. Results pending.


What effect does the moisture content and types of lettuce have on walking stick growth and preference?

Cody K

The question is what effect does the moisture content and lettuce type have on growth and preference? The hypothesis is if walking sticks are offered different types of lettuce (romaine, ice berg or spinach) than walking stick preference and growth will be affected. To test preference, three cages will have six grams of each type of lettuce placed in a different corner. Location of the walking sticks in each cage will be observed multiple times a day. Six grams of each type of lettuce, and one walking stick will be placed into three plastic insect cages. Walking stick mass will be measured. Also, six grams of each lettuce will be allowed to dry out to calculate the percentage of water in each type of lettuce.


What effect does the number of roads have on wolf population density?

Calli C

Wolves were almost extinct a couple of years ago, but now their population is doubling, almost tripling everyday (Living With Wolves, 2011)! The question is what effect does humans/number of roads have on wolf population? The hypothesis is if human population increases/roads increase, then wolf population will decrease. Wolf tracking data will be obtained from the Ely Wolf Center website. The location will be marked on a map of northern Minnesota which also has roads marked. The number of roads and wolves will be compared. Results pending.


Which way should I go: The effect of a food source in a maze on the time it takes a cockroach to finish a maze

Blaik R

Cockroaches will eat almost anything. The question is: What effect will a food source in a maze have on the time it takes a cockroach to finish a maze. The hypothesis is if a food source is available, then cockroaches will travel through a maze faster than when no food is present. A cardboard maze was constructed. Three different cockroaches were each placed in a maze with food and without three times each. The time it took them to travel to the end was recorded and averaged.


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