Color and appetite
The materials required for this science fair project:
- 3 squirrels
- 3 wooden boxes
- 3 pieces of wire mesh to cover the top of the box
- Paint – of the following colors: blue, green and red
- Paint brush
- 1 bag of nuts
- 3 feeding bowls
- 1 digital weighing scale
1. For this science fair project, the independent variable is the color of the interior of the box – blue, green or red. The dependent variable is the average amount of nuts eaten by the squirrel in 3 days. This is determined by using the digital scale to weigh the food supplied on the first day and once more on the third day. The constants (control variables) are the size of the box, the type of food supplied and the age of the squirrels.
2. The interior of the 3 boxes are painted blue, green and red in color and allowed to dry for 2 days. The wire mesh is cut and shaped to cover the top of the box so that the squirrels cannot escape from the box.
3. The 3 feeding bowls are filled with an equal number of nuts. The weight of the nuts placed in the bowl is measured using the digital weighing scale and recorded. The bowls are then placed inside the 3 boxes.
4. One squirrel is then placed inside each of the boxes and the top is immediately covered with the wire mesh. The squirrels are left alone for the next 3 days. After the third day, the bowl is removed from the box and the remaining nuts are weighed using the digital scale. The difference between the initial weight of the nuts and the new weight is calculated and divided by 3 to obtain the amount consumed daily. The result is recorded in the table given below.
5. The squirrel’s position in the colored boxes is rotated and the nuts are weighed and refilled in the feeding bowl. Procedure 5 is repeated once more after 3 days.
6. The squirrel’s positions will be rotated one final time so that the squirrels would have stayed in each box for 3 days. Procedure 5 is repeated once more after 3 days.
Basic safety requirements. Handle animals with care to avoid being bitten.