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Ecology Fair University of Minnesota Monarch Lab

Abstracts from Cloquet Middle School 2014

Cloquet Middle School
509 Carlton Ave
Cloquet, MN 55720

Year: 2014
Teacher(s): Cindy Edwardson, Nicole Ojanen, Cynthia Welsh

Apple Turnover: What effect do common household products have on preventing apple fruit oxidation?

Hannah B, Emmie E

Apples turn brown when the fruit is exposed to air through oxidation (UCSB, 2014). The question is: What effect do common household products have on preventing apple fruit oxidation? The hypothesis is: If different products are used to cover an apple slice, than oxidation rates will be affected. Four different products will be used to coat an apple slice (no product, olive oil, salt water, vinegar and lemon juice). Each slice will be traced on graph paper and the total number of squares will be counted. Each day the graph paper will be shaded in with the degree of brown color and the percentage of brown color will be calculated. A line graph will be used to show the percentage change in brown color overtime.


Attractive Scents....If You Are A Cricket!

Jerome H

Attractive Scents...if you are a cricket! My question is: What odors do crickets prefer, peppermint, lemon, or almond extract? My hypothesis is: If I expose crickets to peppermint, lemon and almond extract, then they will be most attracted to peppermint extract. Results are pending!


Blinded By The Light!

Mario G, Dennis O

Blinded by the Light! The Madagascar Hissing Cockroach cannot see in red light; it is invisible to them (agweb.okstate.edu,2014). Our question is: Do Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches react to yellow light or blue light? Our Hypothesis is: If the light in the enclosure is yellow, then the Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches will react by moving away from the yellow light more often than in an enclosure with blue light. Method: An enclosure was set up with a yellow light in it. Another enclosure was set up with a blue light in it. Each box contained a separate enclosure with 6 cockroaches each that allowed movement in or out of the smaller space; we observed the cockroaches and recorded their reaction to the different light colors. Results pending.


BROKEN FLUTTER: What effect does injury/disease have on monarch mortality?

Elizabeth K, Coren K

Often if a butterfly fails to emerge from the chrysalis even though it is fully formed it is often a result of the OE parasite (Learn About Monarchs, 2014). The question is: What effect does wing deformation, gender, size and disease have on monarch butterfly mortality. The hypothesis is: If a monarch has wing deformation and/or is diseased, then mortality will be higher and gender and wing size will have no effect. Ninety monarch butterflies that emerged from eggs that were laid on the same day were used in this study. It was noted for each butterfly, wing length, if the wings were damaged upon emergence, gender, evidence of disease and how many days the monarch larvae lived. Results pending.


Busting Bad Buckthorn: What effect does treatment method (a buckthorn puller vs. by-hand) have on the diameter of the plant that can be pulled and the amount of root pulled?

Autumn M, Cassandra N

Buckthorn came from Europe in the 1800s and it was only until the 1930s when they realized that they were causing ecological problems (MSU, 2014). The question is: What effect does treatment method (a buckthorn puller) have on the diameter of the plant that can be pulled and the amount of root pulled? The hypothesis is: If buckthorn is pulled by hand vs. using an engineering steal pulling apparatus, than the pulling apparatus will be able to pull plants with wider diameters along with more roots. The study was done on a six acre wooded forest area with buckthorn found throughout the understory. Results pending


Climate Gone Wild: What effect does water temperature have on the breathing rate of zebra fish?

Marcy F, Natalie P

Zebrafish are named after their black and blue stripes on their sides of their body. They are good to use in an experiment because the eggs they lay hatch within three days of their laying them. Global climate change may affect zebrafish and variations in habitat temperatures and the effect on health needs to be studied (Answers, 2014). The question is: What effect does water temperature have on the breathing rate of zebra fish? The hypothesis is: If water temperature is varied within the normal range for zebrafish, than respiration rate will be affected. Zebrafish will be exposed to water at different temperatures within their normal range and respiration rate will be measured. Results pending.


Colorful Illusions: What effect does the amount of light in a room have on a person’s ability perceive an optical illusion?

Aurora G

This study was done to determine the effect of optical illusions on vision. The question is: What effect does the amount of light in a room have on a person’s ability perceive an optical illusion? The hypothesis is: If the amount of light is changed in a room, then individuals will perceive optical illusions differently. Middle school students were given optical illusions to observe in low and high light and asked to tell the researches what they viewed. Results pending.


Crazy Cockroaches: What effect do spices have on repelling Madagascar cockroaches?

Samantha S, Autumn S

This study was done to determine how Madagascar cockroaches would react to different spices. The question is: What effect do spices have on repelling Madagascar cockroaches? The hypothesis is: If cockroaches are exposed to different spices, then they will be the most repelled by red pepper. We put petri dishes of each spice, one at a time, in the corner of the cockroach habitat and left them for eight hours. At the end of the eight hours we measured the distance each cockroach was away from the petri dish. Results pending.


Don't Go Towards The Light!

Alexys S, Lucy S

Don’t go towards the light! Zebra fish are fresh water fish! Zebra fish are found in rice paddies, slow streams and in the Ganges River in East India and Burma (neuro.uoregon.edu, 2014). Our question is: How does the amount of light affect zebra fish? Our hypothesis: If zebra fish are in a greater amount of light, then they will be more active than in the less light or darkness. We will time how fast zebra fish get food in light or dark conditions. (Results pending)


Freaky Fears: What effect does gender and age have on the phobias that people have?

Shaylen R

Phobias are fears that cannot be explained for it is out of conscious control. These fears often interfered with life and lead to the avoidance of the feared object (Fredrikson, Annas, and Fischer, 1996). The question is: What effect does gender and age have on the phobias that people have? The hypothesis is: If age and gender are compared, then the types of phobias will be affected. An online survey will be made asking middle school students and teachers if they have any phobias and to what degree they affect their daily life. Results pending.


Grass Plants May Thrive On Medication!

Rachel B, Hannah L

Grass Plants May Thrive On Medication! What effect does acetaminophen have on grass plant height? If acetaminophen is added to plants and water, then the height of the grass plants will be greater than the grass that only has water added. Results are pending.


Help...My World Is Spinning!

Josh S, Nick S

Help…My World Is Spinning! The question is: What effect do different G-forces have on Mexican stick bugs activity? The hypothesis is: If Mexican stick bugs are subjected to G-force motions, then they will show greater activity than when they have not been given this treatment. Results are pending.


Hide and Seek...Which Dog Can Find The Hidden Dog Treat First?

Drake P

Hide and Seek …Which dog can find the hidden dog treat first? The question is: What effect does the breed of dog have on the ability to smell a hidden treat? The hypothesis is: If the dog treat is hidden then the Husky, will smell and find the treat the fastest. Dogs often find and get into the garbage. For this study three dogs will be used, a Siberian husky, Poodle, and Chihuahua. A dog treat will be hidden and if the dogs find it the speed will be recorded. The test was formed to show the dogs smelling ability, and which breed of dog has the best smelling senses. Results are pending.


It’s the Bees Knees: Does a honey bee’s breed and origin affect the way it behaves?

Kirsten P

There are six main types of honeybees that can be recognized in the beekeeping world. These types of bees are most commonly used in the U.S (BeeSource, 2014). The question is: Does a Honey Bee’s breed and origins affect the way it behaves? (Not including natural causes) The hypothesis is: If different breeds of honey bees are observed, then certain types of bees will exhibit more aggressive behavior. The student beekeeper will observe their colonies of bees doing their normal activities and rate aggressive behaviors. Results pending.


Mighty Maze: What effect does the presence of food (carbohydrates vs. proteins) have on how fast a mouse goes through a maze?

Madelyn G

Mice pet owners should know that mice should only have twenty-five percent of their calories from carbohydrates (sugars) (Nature, 2013). The question is: What effect does the presence of food (carbohydrates vs. proteins) have on how fast a mouse goes through a maze? If there is food at the end of a maze (carbohydrates vs. proteins), then mice will travel fastest to the end of the maze when carbohydrates are present. A maze one meter squared was constructed out of poster board. Six mice, one at a time, were placed in a maze without food, with food (cracker and peanut butter, just peanut butter and just a cracker) and timed in seconds on how long it took them to travel through the maze. Results Pending


Monarch Sun Compass: What effect does the amount of sunlight have on monarch flying speed?

Aaron P, Tyler S

Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) appear to have a “sun compass,” a circadian clock in their antennae. They use this internal clock to help them navigate their long distance migration to Mexico (Guerra, Merlin, Gegear, and Reppert, 2012). The question is: What effect does the amount of sunlight have on monarch flying speed? The hypothesis is: If it is a sunny day, then monarch butterflies will fly faster than on a cloudy day. To begin the experiment, for each butterfly tested wing length in centimeters and gender was recoded. Each monarch butterfly was then placed ten meters from a large window that covered the back of a science classroom. How long it took each butterfly to fly to the window was recorded in seconds. Results pending.


Plastic at the Base of the Food Chain: What effect does the presence of microplastics have on Daphnia magna survival and reproduction rates?

Claire T

Lately, tiny pieces of plastic have been causing problems in our oceans, lakes and rivers, so we need to know how the base of the food chain is being affected. The question is: What effect does the presence of microplastics have on Daphnia magna survival and reproduction rates? The hypothesis is: If microplastics are introduced to Daphnia magna, then the survival and reproduction rates will decrease. Daphnia magna will be exposed to different concentrations of microplastics, and Daphnia survival and reproduction rates will be measured. Results pending.


Quack Quack, What’s in my Water?: What effect does the concentration of aspirin have on the growth of duckweed?

Emma W

Eighty percent of the streams around the country sampled contained residues of drugs (USGS, 1999). The question is: What effect does the concentration of aspirin have on the growth of duckweed? The hypothesis is: If there is higher level of aspirin in the water then, fewer fronds of duckweed will grow. Six dilutions of aspirin were made in waste water treated drinking water (10, 20, 40, 80 and 100 ppm). Six clear plastic trial cups were filled with 40 milliliters of each dilution and one set with just water. Six plants were placed in each cup and and the number of fronds recorded. After 10 days the number of fronds was again counted and the percentage change in frond number was calculated. Results pending.


Wandering Walking Sticks: What effect does temperature have on the behavior and eating habits of walking sticks?

Katelyn S, Sarah D

Walking sticks like to eat lettuce, ivy, privet, oak, rose, hawthorn, pyracantha, strawberry leaves or beetroot leaves. Walking sticks sway back and forth to imitate the way leaves, twigs, and branches to hide themselves from predators (Walking Sticks, 2014). The question is: What effect does temperature have on the behavior and eating habits of walking sticks? The hypothesis is: If different temperature walking stick habitats are used, then walking stick behavior and eating habits will be affected. Two aquarium habitats were used to house walking sticks; one with a heater attached to the base and one without. The amount of food eaten and behaviors will be recorded. Results pending.


Wavy Waters: What effect does climate change (varying depth, air temperatures) have on wave velocity?

Taylor H, Jennifer M

Global climate change can create extreme weather conditions (Climate Communication, 2014). The question is: What effect does climate change (varying depth, air temperatures) have on wave velocityThe hypothesis is: If climate change causes varying air temperatures, when the air is cooler than the water, then the wave height will be greater. A large plastic bin will contain water and object will be moved up and down in the water while a video is taped. Three situations related to weather will be observed (water temperature lower at two levels, higher at two levels and a temperature the same as air). While watching the video the relative height of the wave will be measured in centimeters. The procedure will be repeated three times for each temperature.


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