How far can a squirrel jump?
The materials required for this science fair project:
- 2 tables
- 5 squirrels
- 1 PVC pipe with a diameter of about 10 cm and length of 500mm
- a thin soft mattress or a large pillow
- 1 bag of sunflower seeds
- 1 plate
- 1 measuring tape
1. For this science fair project, the independent variable is the distance between the tables. The dependent variable is the distance jumped by the squirrels (from table to table). This is determined by measuring the distance between the tables. The constants (control variables) are the feed used to make the squirrel jump from table to table and the incremental distance between the tables between each jump.
2. The 2 tables are arranged 300mm apart as shown in table 1 below. The PVC pipe is placed on the 1st table, and the plate filled with the sunflower seeds, is then placed on the 2nd table. Place the mattress or pillow between the tables, to provide the squirrels with a soft landing.
3. The squirrels are released one at a time into the rear opening of the pipe as shown in figure 1. As they move along the pipe and reach the other end, they will see a plate full of sunflower seeds on the other table. As the squirrel attempt to jump from the edge of the pipe to the next table, whether or not it succeeds in landing on the next table, is recorded in the table given below.
4. The distance between the tables will be increased by another 300mm and procedure 3 is repeated.
5. Procedures 3 and 4 are repeated until all 5 squirrels are unable or unwilling to make the jump any longer.
Ensure that you wear safety gloves when handling the squirrels, to avoid being injured. Adult supervision required.