My students need lab set up equipment for AP Psych class.
I teach 10-12th grade history and AP Psychology in a rural/suburban area. This is my 19th year in education, my 14th at the high school level. The focus of this project is on my 50 AP Psychology students.
My AP Psychology students are a intelligent and creative group of kids who want to apply the principles we've been learning this year.
They initiated the idea and asked how we could get the funds to implement it. That's where you can help them out!
Many colleges, universities, and high schools across the country find that training rats is great a way for students to apply the psychological principles of learning. In class via lecture, students study the behaviorist learning theories; in lab they are able to apply this information. They will experiment with operant and classical conditioning techniques, as well as problem solving and critical thinking.
The rats are not the only ones learning during this program.
The students will learn that the techniques employed with the rats are also can be applied to people. Students learn not only how to motivate themselves, but each other, as they work in a group to accomplish the tasks. themselves. They learn the importance of patience, consistency, and reinforcement so the animals learn the tasks.
Students will document their learning, as well as the rat's learning. This journal will serve as one form of assessment. Students will train the animals to do 3 basic tricks (ex. stand, climb rope, push ball), and 3 complex tricks (ex. Walk on hind legs, weave through sticks, and put a ball in a bowl). They will also train the rats to "chain" these tricks together to do them in sequence. Finally, the students will expose them to a Skinner's Box (push lever for food) and a Tolman Maze.
The students will also create videos of their rats performing these tricks to document the learning process.
All animal will be closely monitored so they remain healthy and happy. Students will also follow strict cleanliness requirements to protect themselves and the animals.
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