Science Project Details:

Red bull and Daphnia

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Difficulty: Advanced 7
Cost ($): 60
Time required:
1 hour to prepare, 1 day for experiment
Availability of materials:
Easily found. You will need access to a lake or river to obtain the daphnia required for this experiment
Safety concerns:

Handle all laboratory equipment carefully, wearing safety gear/gloves.

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The materials required for this science project:
- 40 daphnia
- 4 beakers
- 3 cans of Red Bull energy drink
- A microscope
- 4 glass slides
- 1 measurement cylinder
- 1 stopwatch
- 400ml distilled water
- 1 eyedropper
- An assistant


1. For this experiment, the independent variable is the concentration of  Red Bull solution used. The dependent variable is the number of heartbeats per minute of the daphnia. This is determined by viewing the Daphnia under a microscope and counting the number of heartbeats. The constants (control variables) are the room temperature, the amount of water used and the concentration of the solutions.

2. The first beaker is labeled "water" and filled with 100ml water. The remaining three beakers are labeled and prepared as explained in the table below:

Label                      Contents of the beaker

· Water                     100ml water

· Red Bull 0.1          90ml water mixed with 10ml of Red Bull

· Red Bull 0.5          50ml water mixed with 50ml of Red Bull

· Red Bull 1.0          100ml of Red Bull


3. The daphnia are separated into 4 groups of 10 Daphnia each. Each group of 10 Daphnia is then placed on the 4 slides.

4. The testing is started by placing 3 drops of water on the 1st slide. Wait 15 minutes and then place the slide on the microscope. The number of heartbeats for each of the 10 Daphnia in the slide is counted one at a time while the assistant  keeps time. The heartbeats per minute for the 10 Daphnia are totaled and divided by 10 to obtain the average heartbeat. The results are recorded in the table given below.

5. On the remaining 3 slides, 3 drops of the solution marked Red Bull 0.1, Red Bull 0.5 and Red Bull 1.0  are  added to each slide. The number of heartbeats for each Daphnia is counted as explained in procedure 4. The average heartbeat is calculated and recorded in the table given below.