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Ecology Fair University of Minnesota Monarch Lab

Abstracts from Cloquet Middle School 2012

Cloquet Middle School
509 Carlton Ave
Cloquet, MN 55720

Year: 2012
Teacher(s): Cindy Edwardson, Joe Nicole, Cynthia Welsh

Algae Gone Wild: What effect does corn gluten have on Selenustrum capricornutum (green algae) growth?

Gabriella L, Kamara L

Barley straw has been used to control algal growth. The question is: What effect does corn gluten have on Selenustrum capricornutum (green algae) growth? The hypothesis is: If corn gluten is used in small lakes, then it will control algal growth. A bucket without corn gluten, and concentrations of 0.03, 0.3, 3.0 and 30.0 mg/L of corn gluten and .01 mg/L of fertilizer will each be placed in a plastic bucket filled with two liters of pond water and incubated for six weeks. From each bucket, five 70 milliliter subsamples will be placed in a 100 milliliter plastic cup. One milliliter of green algae will be placed in each of the 25 cups and incubated for two weeks. Chlorophyll a concentration will be measured.


Clean Energy: Engineering an efficient solar panel

Ebony D

Wind and solar energy are both ways to produce energy, while reducing the emission of fossil fuels. The engineering goal was: To produce efficient energy using a solar panel, so as to reduce the emission of fossil fuels. The hypothesis is: A solar panel can be designed and built to efficiently produce electricity. The panel was made with thirty-six (4X6 inch) 0.5 dc volt solar cells, vertically arranged in a continuous flow. The engineering goal was met; the solar panel was able to produce 20.5 volts.


Crazy Alpaca Hair: What effect dose gender have on hair anatomy of an alpaca/llama?

Chloe O, Mackenzie R

Alpacas are shorn for their wonderful fleece each year, which will produce five to ten pounds of soft, warm fiber that is turned into the most luxurious garments (ILA, 2012a). The Question is: What effect dose gender have on the hair anatomy of an alpaca/llama? The Hypothesis is: If gender is examined, then the hair anatomy of an alpaca/llama will be different. Twenty male and female Alpaca were each brushed; a small amount of hair was removed from each animal and placed in a plastic bag. Five hair strands from each Alpaca were looked at under a microscope and examined. Measurements of the hair follicle were recorded. Results pending.


Facial attractiveness: What effect does symmetry have on the perceived health of different species (Homo sapiens, Canis major and Rana pipiens)?

Studies revealed the relative importance of human facial asymmetry in regard to perceived health. The question is what effect does symmetry have on the perceived health of different species? The hypothesis is that if species are less symmetrical, then they will have a lower health rating. Five black and white photos will be taken of each test subject: human male and female, dogs, frogs and frog skeletons. These photos will be uploaded into an online survey and participants will be asked to rate their fitness. Each photo will have perpendicular lines of symmetry drawn between different body features (eyes, mouth, arms, and legs). ImageJ (computer program) will be used to measure the slope of the line of symmetry and the distance between features. Results pending.


Food Through the Ages! Does age of Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches affect food preference?

Haylee R, Makalaeh K

We chose 6 Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches, 3 adult, and 3 immature for our experiment. We put 4 types of food in their cage to determine if the age of the insects affects their food preference, mashed pumpkin, mashed banana, mashed carrots, and vanilla pudding were chosen as food selections. Results of our experiment are pending.


Greener or Meaner? Which is stronger,biodegradable or nonbiodegradable plastic bags?

Franny S

In this experiment I tested the strength of biodegradable versus nonbiodegradable kitchen garbage bags. Using gram weights, I kept adding weight to each type of bag until the bags broke. I tested out 5 bags of each type. Results are pending.


Hurry Scurry! Does the type of surface affect Madagascar Hissing Cockroach speed of movement?

Josh B, Jordan B

We chose 3 adult Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches and timed their speed of movement toward a food dish of applesauce as they traveled over 3 different surfaces- glass, sandpaper,and carpet. We performed three trials for each cockroach on each surface with a teaspoon of applesauce in a Petri dish placed at the end of the surface. Results are pending.


Is a smile contagious: What effect does a person smiling have on another person’s smiling response?

Madison J, Samantha M

Sometimes people smile to be polite, or because they want to "appear" happy or friendly for social reasons (Fake smile, 2012). The question is: What effect does a person smiling have on another person’s smiling response? The hypothesis is: If a person is smiled at then, then the person being smiled at will be more likely to smile in return. Each day, in the school hallway, the researchers will randomly smile at students and note their response. They will also record if the person is a close friend or not, using a rating scale of 0 to 5, 0 means the researcher does not know the persona and 5 means the person being smiled at is a close personal friend. Results pending


Lion Pride: Does gender affect the behavior of lions?

Marjorie L, Sarena S

Lions are the only cats that live in groups called prides. A pride may include up to three males a dozen or so females and their young. The question is: What effect does gender have on the behavior of lions? The hypothesis is: If gender is examined, then lion behavior will be affected and the male lion will exhibit more territorial behaviors than the females. Four different days, at the Lake Superior Zoo, researchers observed a lion enclosure with three female and one male lion from the same litter. Behaviors were noted every thirty seconds for each lion. Results pending.


Meals and Squeals! How does type of food affect Madagascar Hissing Cockroach activity?

Solomon H, Patrick D

We chose 3 adult Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches and put them in a cage with 4 food choices, mashed pumpkin, applesauce, mashed carrots, and vanilla pudding. We made an activity scale from 1-least activity to 3-most active and watched their activity once a day for 20 minutes. Initial results show that applesauce and mashed pumpkins cause increased activity.


Mealworms in outer space: What effect does three gravitational forces for ten minutes have on mealworm growth?

Hailey A, Araya R

Mealworms are often used for fishing and studying. The question is: What effect does three gravitational forces for ten minutes have on the growth of mealworms? The hypothesis is: If mealworms were exposed to three gravitational forces for ten minutes their growth will be negatively affected. The mealworms are going to be exposed to three gravitational forces for ten minutes using an old phonograph. Mealworms will be housed and fed five grams of apple and five grams of rice cereal every day in a petri dish. Mealworm length, width and mass will be measured daily. The results are pending.


Mother, Mother Madagascar How Does Your Young Nymph Grow? Is It Erratic, Exponential, Or Linear, With Little Growth Spurts Standing Equally In A Row?

Lillian M

The purpose of this study on Madagascar Hissing Cockroach (MHC) is to establish a base growth study, in order to determine the optimum age rage to study the growth rate of the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach, a special enclosure was setup to measure the relationship over time of food consumption to waste generation, weight and size gain. MHC nymphs mature in 7 months. The study lasts over a five month period. Data accumulation now in progress.


Overwintering Milkweed: What effect does cold incubation time have on likelihood of incubation?

Milkweed is a plant that’s needs to be cold incubated over the winter in order to germinate. The question is: What effect does cold incubation time have on likelihood of incubation? The hypothesis is: If milkweed is cold incubated, then the number of weeks until incubation will be determined. Initially, a seed incubation medium was mixed, 120 milliliters of clean sand and 1.2 milliliters of water. Each mixture was placed in a 14 quart-size plastic bag along with ten milkweed seeds. Seven of these bags were placed in the refrigerator and at room temperature. Each week, a bag was removed and then seeds were planted in potting soil. All 70 pots were placed in a grow lab and germination was noted. Results Pending


Sticks and Stones! Will rocks of different colors affect Walking Stick Insect color and site of food selection?

Katrina Z, Emily L

In this experiment we added 4 rock colors, blue, white, dark grey, and salmon to an aquarium with 8 Walking Stick Insects to see if it would affect their color and preference of where to stay and eat their food. We laid a large piece of romaine lettuce on each rock and set the insects in the middle of the cage. We checked the rocks several times a day to see where the insects chose to sit and if we could notice any color difference in their exoskeleton as compared to rock color. Our control was a large piece of romaine lettuce on the aquarium soil surface. Results are pending.


Storm Impact Dynamics: Computer modeling of the Duluth Megastorm using a 3D CAD model to model the water flow through the St. Louis River Watershed

Levi P

During the summer of 2012, a two day rainfall fell upon the Duluth hillside, dumping, in some locations over nine inches of rain. This mega storm caused catastrophic damage to landscapes, homes and business. This computer science project will use base USGS Topographic and hydrographic map data of the St Lewis River watershed and converting it to a 2D CAD model that will then be the basis for a 3D CAD model unto which June 19/20 2012 model will be super imposed and formulas will be generated to generate a 3D CAD model of the water flow through the SLR watershed.


The Long and Short of it: What effect does age and gender have on memory?

Katelynn S

As we age, memory can play a big part in a person’s quality of life. The question is: What effect does age and gender have on memory. The hypothesis: If gender is examined, then long and short term memory will be affected. Three sets of ten, seventh and twelfth grade vocabulary words were collected and put in an online survey. The participants were given one minute to memorize the words and one minute to record in the survey how many they remember. This process was repeated using a different set of vocabulary works except the students were given five minutes to memorize the words and asked to record in the survey how many words they remember the next day. Results pending


To fidget or not to fidget: What effect does fidget toys have on math test scores?

Haley M, Mackenzie S

Both boys and girls can use fidget toys. Many educators feel fidget toys help students with attention issues score higher on tests. Research also so that fidget toys might not be for everyone, for some kids it might be a distraction. The question is: What effect does fidget toys have on middle school math test scores? The hypothesis is: If middle school students use fidget balls, then they will score higher on an age appropriate math test. Three sets of ten, sixth and seventh grade math problems will be collected. Sixth and seventh graders will be given five minutes to complete the test. Each student tested will repeat taking another test using a fidget ball. Results pending.


Walking stick meal time: What effect does lettuce type have on walking stick growth?

Samantha T, Destiny I

Walking sticks usually eat leaves and stems of plants and eat mostly at night; they usually live three years in wild (Walking stick, 2012). The question is: What effect does lettuce type have on walking stick growth? The hypothesis is: If lettuce type is varied, then waking stick growth will be affected. Nine insect cages, one walking stick per cage, were set up. Each of the nine cages had the same amount of lettuce added (spinach, romaine and iceberg lettuce). Each day the cages were cleaned, fresh food was measured and added, and water was sprayed into each cage. The mass of the lettuce and the walking stick was recorded in grams, as well as the length in centimeters. Results pending.


What's the Buzz on Cockroaches and Caffeine? How does caffeine added to food affect Madagascar Hissing Cockroach activity?

Jayda W, Tamara M

We added a tablespoon of caffeinated coffee to a tablespoon of canned pumpkin and put 3 Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches in a small aquarium with this food. We set up a similar aquarium but without caffeine added to the pumpkin. We observed the cockroaches activity using a scale of 1 (no activity) to 5 (extremely active)over a 3 day period. Results are pending.


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