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Others Like “Attractants and Repellants”

Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever stopped to watch a trail of ants moving back and forth between a food source and their nest? Have you ever wondered how they establish their trail? You've probably read that ants use chemical signals to communicate with one another. This is a relatively simple experiment that you can do to determine whether ants use attractant signals (positive cues) or repellant signals (negative cues) or both. Read more
Zoo_p016
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You'll need an ant colony to do this experiment (outdoors is fine).
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
Do ants sometimes ruin your picnic? There are some chemical ant repellents you can spray to keep them away, but who wants to spray poison all over their food? In this experiment you can investigate some less toxic solutions that may be around your house so that your next picnic won't become an ant buffet! Read more
Zoo_p025
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety If using commercial ant repellents, please use caution and read all safety information provided by the manufacturer.
Project Idea
During metabolism, organisms experience physical and chemical changes. All animals need some way to exchange chemical waste generated during metabolism for fresh nutrients. One way that these metabolic chemicals are exchanged is during respiration, the process by which used carbon dioxide gas is exchanged with fresh oxygen and circulated throughout the body. How do organisms living underwater respirate? They use gills, which filter oxygen from the water and pass the oxygen into the… Read more
Zoo_p031
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
Fruit is a strategy some plants use to attract animals to disperse seeds. The animals eat the fruit and disperse the seeds through the digestive system. To attract animals, fruit needs to ripen and develop an odor that acts as an attractant. How much more successful are ripe fruits at attracting animals? Try setting out an over and under ripe piece of fruit, and compare how many many insects are attracted to each fruit. How does ripening occur? You can do an experiment using a very ripe… Read more
PlantBio_p021
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Do not eat any fruit to which you have added chemicals. Use caution when using sharp knives or other kitchen equipment; adult supervision is recommended.
Project Idea
Many organisms have ways of orienting toward or away from an environmental stimulus. Some of these behaviors are instinctive, meaning they are behaviors with built in instructions that do not need to be learned. The instinctive response to a stimulus is called a taxis, and there are several types of cues: electricity (galvanotaxis), gravity (geotaxis), light (phototaxis), heat (thermotaxis), touch (thigmotaxis) or a chemical (chemotaxis). You can design experiments to test whether organisms… Read more
Zoo_p043
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This science project can be done with insects you catch in your own backyard or order from [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.ApprovedSuppliers" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="online vendors" #] such as [# Link Name="Advanced.ApprovedSuppliers.2" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="Carolina Biological Supply Company" #]
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety If you choose to try this science project with small animals (rather than with insects), use caution when handling the animals and always have an adult present. The use of small animals may require [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.ScientificReviewCommitteeSRC" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="SRC approval" #].
Project Idea
Has your house ever suffered an ant invasion? This project is an interesting way to investigate what substances are effective as ant repellents. The goal is to find substances that keep ants away, yet are safe for humans and the environment. Read more
Zoo_p026
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites To do this project, you will need a source of ants
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
Animals have different levels of activity depending upon their habitat, metabolism and behavior. Diurnal animals are more active during the day. Nocturnal animals are more active at night. Being diurnal or nocturnal may have different advantages for different animals. For example, desert animals tend to be nocturnal so they can stay cool and escape the desert heat present during the day. What types of diurnal and nocturnal animals are common in your area? You can set out a small trap to… Read more
Zoo_p041
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety If you choose to try trapping small animals, adult assistance will be necessary. Avoid touching wild animals. Seek immediate medical attention if bit by an animal.
Project Idea
All animals need to respond to changes in their immediate environment. The sensory structures of animals are each made to respond to distinct types of sensory stimuli: touch, taste, sound, light and smell. How are these stimuli recieved? Different animals have different strategies for receiving stimuli and develop specialized structures for doing so. Antennae, ears, noses, tongues, eyes, eye spots, hairs and bristles are all examples of sensory structures used by different animals to sense… Read more
Zoo_p040
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Avoid applying too much pressure and harming an animal when performing the touch test.
Project Idea
Our metabolism changes as we get older, a sad fact of life that we cannot change. Old age affects our bodies in many ways. Changes in musculature, bone strength, energy, diet and breathing are some of the many ways we change as we age. You might notice that people often get out of breath when they are older and doing a physical activity. Why do some people feel out of breath, while others do not? Does this change correlate with age? Could this reflect a difference in lung capacity between… Read more
HumBio_p003
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Material Availability Bromothymol blue is a specialty chemical which can be ordered from an online vendor.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended. If using bromothymol blue, be careful not to ingest it. Any volunteer who feels light-headed after exhaling should stop immediately and not repeat the experiment.
Project Idea
Do you like skeletons? One of the more interesting jobs at a natural history museum is the creation and care of the skeletons and bones. How do the curators clean and put together the skeletons? Many curators use the carrion beetle, Dermestes vulpinus, to quickly clean off the dead animal tissue from a corpse to reveal the skeleton. These insects do such a good job that sometimes the skeleton remains intact! Another method is to slow cook the carcass until the meat falls off. You can use… Read more
Zoo_p038
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- Less Details
Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Use only food-grade animals for this project. Do not use roadkill or other dead animals from unknown sources, as such animals might have died from diseases. Wear gloves and safety goggles, and use caution when handling bleach and other chemicals. Adult supervision is recommended.
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