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dragonfly experiment?

Postby dwyatt » Mon Nov 16, 2015 10:11 am

My daughter started with the question How do you identify a dragonfly? Her hypothesis is basically by it's colors and markings. After researching she learned that there are other factors that help ID a dragonfly, like it's size or the way it perches. Well we already did the report on the different families of dragonflies and how to identify one but didn't do an experiment which I realize now is a requirement. Can you suggest how to do an experiment to save this project without having to start from scratch?

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Re: dragonfly experiment?

Postby sunmoonstars » Tue Nov 17, 2015 8:08 am

Hi Dwyatt,

I have thought of two possibilities for you, and the one you choose will depend on how many dragonflies you can find this time of year in your location.

First idea - use the information you learned already to determine the drgonfly species that is most plentiful in your area, during a live hunt & count. The hypothesis would be something like: based on our location, I think the Emperor Dragonfly is the most plentiful. Then you gather data by searching for dragonflies, deciding which type they are, and counting how many you find of each type.

Second idea - you could use a hypothesis that states you think that you can accurately identify a dragonfly based on only the color and markings. Then, make a series of cards/pictures with lots of different types and sizes of draginflies, and challenge your student to identify the dragonfly based on only those two criteria. You will need to keep track of this data. Then go back and use ALL criteria to accurately determine the real type of dragonfly, and compare if you were able to identify correctly the dragonfly types using only 2 criteria. I suspect you will find some types that are both green and have the same markings, but are drastically different in size or shape, leading you to identify the dragonfly incorrectly.

Please let me know if you have further questions. Some other scientists here may think of other experiments you can do.

Good luck! Sounds like a fun experiment & project!

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