Ants Science Fair Project By Riley McVaugh
The Big Question • Is artificial sugar or regular sugar healthier for ants? • I am trying to figure out if artificial sugar is healthier, or if sugar is healthier for ants
Hypothesis • If I give ants artificial sugar (Sweet N Low), regular sugar and ant food, then more ants will die from eating artificial sugar than from eating sugar or ant food • more ants will die from eating artificial sugar because artificial sugar is less natural
Interesting Facts About Ants • Ants have two stomachs • Ants are strong, they can lift up to 20 times their body weight • When ants get cold, they barely move • Ants like sweet food • Ants can be many different colors, including purple, brown, black, and red
Experiment • I will have three containers for ants • One sugar container, one Sweet N Low container and one ant food container • I will put 57 ants in each container • I will feed the ants the same amount and at the same time • I will count the ants in each container to see if any died
Experiment • Materials • 171 ants , 15 ounces of soil ,3 ant observatories , ant food , sugar , artificial sugar (saccharin) ,water, a water dropper, a squirt bottle with water, measuring cup, measuring spoons
Experiment • Instructions • Set up each ant observatory by putting the smaller container in the larger observatory with the open end down. Now put 5 ounces of soil in each observatory, and be sure to spread it evenly around all sides. Use your squirt bottle with water to squirt just enough water onto the soil in the observatory to make it moist more than half way to the bottom all the way around.
Experiment Instructions • Put the ants that are in tubes in the refrigerator for 10 minutes. This will slow them down so it will be easier to put them in the observatory. Take out one tube of ants at a time. Open the tube and put the ants in the measuring cup. Use the empty water dropper to push the ants out of the measuring cup and into the observatories, counting the ants as you put them in. Put 57 ants in each observatory.
Experiment Instructions • Then label one observatory with sugar, one with artificial sugar, and one with ant food. Put ¼ teaspoon of sugar in the sugar observatory, ¼ teaspoon saccharin in the artificial sugar observatory, and ¼ teaspoon ant food in the ant food observatory. Put the lid on each observatory. Check on the ants every day and write down what is happening and how many ants died in each observatory.
Experiment Instructions • When they run out of food, give ¼ teaspoon of sugar to the sugar observatory, ¼ teaspoon saccharin to the artificial sugar observatory, and ¼ teaspoon ant food to the ant food observatory at the same time. Also give the ants 2 drops of water per observatory each day using the water dropper. • Control & Variable: • The control group is the ant food container, and the variable groups are the sugar and the artificial sugar containers.
Experiment Observations • On the second day the ants already had tunnels started in the ant food container and the artificial sugar container (no tunnels yet in the sugar container) • By the third day the artificial sugar container had the most tunnels • The ants pile the dirt from the tunnels at the top of the containers
More Experiment Observations • The ants in the sugar container were the least active, and ants in the ant food container were most active • The sugar container looked like it had the lowest population at the end of the experiment
Analysis of Data • This experiment did not test my hypothesis • I was not able to count how many dead ants there were because the ants were the same color as the soil • some of the ants looked like they were dead because they were not moving, but I think they were sleeping • I had trouble keeping track of how many dead ants there were because I think the ants ate or hid the dead ants • I was able to see how active the ants were in each container, and the most active ants are probably doing the best
Conclusion • I don’t know if my hypothesis was correct because I could not count how many dead ants there were • If I did this experiment again I would: • use a bright color of soil so it would be easier to spot the ants • I would try to count the number of live ants instead of dead ants. This would make it easier because I think the dead ants were being eaten
Conclusion • New questions I have are: • Do ants eat dead ants? • Did the ants eat their food (I never saw them eat it)? • Are the more active ants healthier?
Bibliography ANT By Karen Hartley and Chris Macro Published 2006 Chicago, IL by Heinemann Library Pages 14, 22-23 Ants By Paul Fleisher Published 2002 Tarrytown, NY by Benchmark Books Pages 37-39
Bibliography Animal Planet, Buggin’ with Ruud By Carrie E. Holcomb Published 2005 Des Moines, IA by Meredith Books Pages 38-39 www.antsalive.com website Ant Habitats page Ant Science Projects page
Bibliography www.wikipedia.org http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/sugar Sugar www.wikipedia.org http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/saccharine Saccharine