4th grade science experiment
(If this belongs in a different section feel free to move it mods! :))
I'm helping the girl I babysit to do her science fair project, and we've decided on doing a water ecosystem in a bottle/jar. There are going to be two identical bottles (plant wise) with different 'stocking'.
The plan is to have a tablespoon of soil, then 2 inches of sand substrate (probably either playsand or leftover flourite black) and fill it with an equal number of anacharis and ludwigia stems, and then a measured amount of duckweed/water lettuce. I'm either going to do this in a very large soda bottle or a locking large jar.
The 'experiment' would be to have 3 shrimp in each bottle, but one bottle will have Cherries, and another Ghost. (cheapest and most available to me). The experiment will measure which species thrives more.
Any problems/tips/advice? I'm trying to keep it as simple as possible (I was thinking about testing the water and using those results but I figured it would be a bit to advanced for 4th grade:lol:) and as safe as possible for the shrimp.
When is it due? The only problem may be that the timeline doesn't allow for any difference between the two species in an identical ecosystem.
You could prove or disprove Byron's theory about the fluorite vs sand. Just use a number of identical short stems in each with the different substrates and still add some shrimp in each for interest with some java moss for added shrimp grazing area. That you will easily be able to measure.
Your results might be a little too similar and subjective, in my opinion. For the sake of a 4th grade science experiment, maybe doing something that you know is going to cause a big difference but, the average person will think is pretty cool would be a good idea. For example, use the shrimp in one container and artificial fertilizer in another or, create one container that will grow more algae than the other and see how the shrimps do in comparison. Maybe these aren't good examples but, I'm just saying something with a little more contrast that isn't too obvious might be more interesting to the audience in question. As a breed, I think us aquarium folks are much more in tune to differences in water conditions than most people. Best of luck with your experiment. We expect an A+.
I didn't even think of that, that would have been way easier >.< We already started the project though, with the title and the purpose, and I don't think we can change it, since she has to show that part in class tomorrow.
I think what we'll be looking at is survival/growth rate. I don't think we have to get super scientific, more along the lines of 'they did good.'
It's due on the 15th of May.
For what it's worth though, I wanted to do a volcano. But apparently that's what boys do.
You're probably right, but this was the idea she latched on to. She really liked my shrimp and wanted to do a project with them, and this was all I could think of. I should have asked sooner.
The purpose we wrote was 'to see which breed of shrimp thrives best in a bottle ecosystem'. The teacher will check it out tomorrow and we'll see what he says. :)
I've helped with lots of science projects over the years and we've done everything from power generators and batteries to tensile strength measurements.. I always find that something that can be measured is easiest to do... and we've changed projects mid stream as long as the teacher knows why ... but that depends on how much grunt work has already been done as to how worth it it is. Good observations can make up for empirical measurements if needed though.
Whatever you decide, have fun with it.
Do you think it's safe for the shrimp though? That's my main fear. She'll have to cart both jars/bottles to class on the day of the fair, and I'm terrified of something happening.
If you are using sealed or sealable containers, the shrimp should be fine. If you can use plastic containers to avoid a breakage concern, that would be best. Then just sturdy fabric grocery bags to tote them back and forth in.
Get a cardboard box and put the two jars in. Stuff the open space with bubble wrap or packing peanuts or even just bunched up newspaper. it will minimize the shaking and maintain temp as well as breakage if the box falls a bit.
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