On the fourth day of the fourth week of the U.A. Adventure Semester, my group was challenged to create, execute, and finalize a scientific experiment.
In the beginning, we were faced with the decision of whether we wanted to do a psychologic experiment or a biological experiment. It was split down the middle, and on the morning of, we brainstormed multiple ideas (on both ends of the spectrum) until we came to the idea of executing an experiment that had to do with the very evil we had spent the past three weeks battling against. Wasps.
Our group agreed that we would use multiple varieties of bait, place them in different locations around our camp, and see which the wasps (and other insects like flies) were most attracted to. After cutting up multiple egg cartons into sixty different containers, we filled ten of each with a different substance. We used yogurt, onion, apple, raw rancid elk meat, jam, and kombucha.
It wasn’t the most conclusive experiment, but we did find that both wasps and flies tend to be more attracted the items left in the sun, and that the flies gravitated to the stinkier foods (like kombucha, meat, and onions) whereas the wasps were found more near the sweet foods (like apple and jam). When we had collected all our data, we wrote up a short scientific paper to sum up our findings. In the end, we walked away with an interesting (yet a bit smelly) learning experience, and some relatively useless but new knowledge about flies and wasps.
Read the scientific paper here: http://www.unschooladventures.com/?p=2970