Soil fertility and ants
The materials required for this science fair project:
- 1 packet of radish seed
- 2 plastic pots, with dish bases, deep enough to be filled with water
- enough soil to fill 2 pots
- 50 black ants (you can find them in your garden or a park)
- 1 tray
- Ruler (1 meter)
1. For this experiment, the independent variable is the ants in the soil. The dependent variable is the rate of growth of the plants. This is determined by measuring the height of the 5 plants in each group and calculating the average. The constants (control variables) are the size of the pot, the amount of soil, the number of ants and the type of plant used.
2. 2 pots are filled with the same amount of soil. The pots are labeled pot A and pot B. 5 radish seeds are placed in each pot. (More than 5 seeds can be used in each pot in case some of the seeds do not germinate. Once they start to geminate, remove the unwanted plants from the pot).
3. 50 black ants are placed in the soil of pot B. The pot labeled B is placed on a tray. Water is filled in the tray. The water in the tray is to prevent the ants from leaving the soil.
4. Both the pots are placed in a place where there is adequate sunlight and air ventilation for the radish seeds to germinate. Ensure that the pots are placed in large pot dishes, filled with water to prevent the ants from escaping.
5. The radish plants are watered daily in the morning and evening. Their height is measured everyday using a ruler and recorded in the table below.
6. The experiment is continued for 10 days and the measured height of the radish plants is recorded in the table below.
Be careful when handling the ants. They bite! Wear protective gloves. Adult supervision recommended.