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Materials

The materials required for this science fair project:

-    A monkey
-    A dog
-    A cat
-    A box of pet snacks for the dog, cat and monkey
-    A red, blue and yellow ball
-    A dark room with no windows or a room with windows and curtains
-    An animal trainer
 

Procedure

1.    For this science fair project, the independent variable is the type of animal and the condition of the room – bright or dark. The dependent variable is the color of the ball selected by the animal. This is determined by observing the color of the ball selected by the animal. The constants (control variables) are the period of training, the size of the ball, the color of the ball and the size of the room.

2.    The experiment is done with a dog, a cat and a monkey. The 3 animals are trained for 14 days with the help of an animal trainer. The animal trainer will train the animals to select only the red color ball from amongst the other colored balls. Every time the animal selects the red ball, it is given a treat and pat as rewards to reinforce this behavior.

3.    After 2 weeks of training, a dark room is prepared for the experiment. The dog, cat and monkey will be tested separately. Each animal is tested 10 times in a bright environment. To ensure accuracy, have all the balls wiped clean, and have them randomly placed (do not place them in the same position each time). The number of times they successfully selected the red ball is recorded in the table given below.

4.    Next, the window’s curtains are drawn (if required) and all the lights are switched off. The room should be in total darkness. Each animal is required to select the red ball in the dark environment. The number of times each animal successfully selects the red ball is recorded in the table below. Again, to ensure accuracy, have all the balls wiped clean, and have them randomly placed (do not place them in the same position each time).
 

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Complexity level:
6
Project cost ($):
20
Time required:
14 days to prepare, 1 day for observation
Material availability:
You will need access to domesticated, trained animals. The dog and cat won't be a problem, but the monkey will take some effort to locate. Try asking your local zoo to help
Safety concerns:

Treat animals with respect and care - and ensure that they are handled by qualified trainers at all times. Although they may be domesticated, the animals may bite if unexpectedly provoked or agitated