My class consists of 24 gifted fifth graders. This group presents many challenges when implementing instruction, as they have a higher need for enriching and challenging materials. They are also highly motivated, capable of working independently, and even driving their own instruction. Although predominantly Hispanic, my students come from a wide range of different cultural backgrounds within that spectrum.
As a group, we value and support each other.
We lend an ear when someone needs to speak and we speak out when we have something to say. We are a group; we are a team; we are a family.
My students need a Brinno Time Lapse camera so they can investigate whether ants make paths. This low cost hands on project is suitable for all grades and satisfies each of the criteria for STEM.
Students will use a Brinno time lapse camera to record ants as they create a trail towards a sugar feeder station on our building's outside wall.
First ask the question: Do ants make a path and if they do, can they recreate the path if it is disrupted?
We will create the following test:
1. Design and build a sugar water feeder that holds up to 1/3 cup of sugar water to be fastened to a wall or placed on the ground. Items you may NOT use: dish or a cup.
2. Place sugar water feeder in close proximity to an ant mound. If there isn't one nearby, it's ok, the ants WILL come.
3. Record the area of sugar water feeder with the Brinno camera for entire school day, play the recording back on the smart board /laptop to see if the ants use different paths or the same path on their way to and from the feeder.
Run test again but once the ants show up, disrupt their path by wiping it with a wet rag to see if they reform the exact trail, create a new one, or go back home. The Brinno camera will record how long it took to complete any of these actions.
Compare times of day 1 and 2, at what times did the ants show up? What time was traffic along the path busiest?
Do ants make paths and can they recreate the same path?
Did the ants make the most efficient path?
Can we make a better sugar feeder?
SO, do ants make paths? Try this activity and find out!
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