Animal Related Science Projects
Bird's Seed Preferences
- Assist your students throughout this project, which assesses different bird species' preferences when consuming bird seeds. Nail four disposable foil pans to a tree for your students. Provide students with black sunflower oil, striped sunflower, hulled sunflower and thistle seeds and label each of the four foil containers accordingly. Have students fill each pan with one-fourth cup of each kind of bird seed. Students should then weigh each container and record the starting weight. Join your students as you sit several feet away from the foil containers and, using binoculars, a notebook and a pencil, have students record each bird species (with your help) that eat the seeds for at least 30 minutes. Have students record the weights of each container once they have finished observing to see which seeds were least and most popular.
- Provide your students with a store-bought formicary (ant farm) so they can complete this project looking at an ant colony in action. Most formicaria come complete with all of the materials your require, but you will have to capture a fertilized queen ant and place it in the tank. Supply your students with the formicary, complete with queen, and get them to observe the ants as they move around their farm. Students should observe a caste system between the ants. Have students place food at the top of the formicary and observe as the worker ants collect and carry pieces of food down into the depths of the ant farm. Get students to draw pictures of what they see inside the tank.
Squirrels and their Surroundings
- Accompany students on this project which involves field work to determine if the color of a habitat has an impact on the color of squirrel that occupies it. Have students select three different habitats where squirrels will frequently be seen, including one urban, one in a light, open field and the other in a dark, shady situation. Join your students in each of the chosen habitats and have them observe and note each occasion they see a squirrel and what color it is. Have students chart their findings to see if there are more dark squirrels in dark environments, for example.
Why Are Coral Reefs Dying?
- Challenge students to take a holistic approach to their animal science project by carrying out both research and their own experiment. First, have students investigate the background issue behind coral reefs dying because of increasing carbon dioxide levels in the ocean. For a practical project, students can assess the impact of carbon dioxide on calcium carbonate (a replica coral reef). Have students pour the same amount of tap water into two identical glasses and crush one stick of white chalk into each glass. Students should then add three pipettes of pure vinegar to one of the glasses and label it "V" for vinegar. Have students test the pH level of each glass using pH testing strips, wait for two hours and test the pH levels once more. Students should then leave their glasses overnight and note that the pure vinegar has dissolved the chalk.