# Trail Marking Inquiry. Trail marking inquiry Hypothesis 1: Wiping a sponge of soapy water across an ant trail will not disrupt theiruse of the trailHypothesis.

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Trail Marking Inquiry

Trail marking inquiry Hypothesis 1: Wiping a sponge of soapy water across an ant trail will not disrupt theiruse of the trailHypothesis 1: Wiping a sponge of soapy water across an ant trail will not disrupt theiruse of the trail Hypothesis 2: Sprinkling cinnamon across an ant trail will not disrupt their use of the trailHypothesis 2: Sprinkling cinnamon across an ant trail will not disrupt their use of the trail

Protocol Locate an ant trail and determine a preferred food (see previous inquiry)Locate an ant trail and determine a preferred food (see previous inquiry) Wipe soapy water laden sponge across a section of the trailWipe soapy water laden sponge across a section of the trail Sprinkle cinnamon across another section of the trailSprinkle cinnamon across another section of the trail Observe ant behavior when they come to the section of the trail you alteredObserve ant behavior when they come to the section of the trail you altered Have three groups of students make similar observationsHave three groups of students make similar observations

Data collection Time how long it takes the ants to relocate the trail after encountering each disruption – average the results of the three groupsTime how long it takes the ants to relocate the trail after encountering each disruption – average the results of the three groups Do ants go across the disruptions or create a new trail around them?Do ants go across the disruptions or create a new trail around them? Describe the search pattern of ants that lose their trailDescribe the search pattern of ants that lose their trail

Reporting findings Did the test procedures disrupt ants use of their foraging trail?Did the test procedures disrupt ants use of their foraging trail? On average, how long did it take for the ants to relocate their trail?On average, how long did it take for the ants to relocate their trail? Describe the search pattern of disoriented antsDescribe the search pattern of disoriented ants

Conclusions Encourage students to suggest how ants mark their trails (visible markers, chemical trail, etc….)Encourage students to suggest how ants mark their trails (visible markers, chemical trail, etc….) Direct students to observe ants on a trail to see if they can observe trail markingDirect students to observe ants on a trail to see if they can observe trail marking

Testing your conclusion Establish a feeding trail to the preferred food on a sheet of paperEstablish a feeding trail to the preferred food on a sheet of paper Using scissors, cut out a section of the trail (do not touch trail and leave a 1” margin on each side of trail)Using scissors, cut out a section of the trail (do not touch trail and leave a 1” margin on each side of trail) Now lay the paper across an existing trailNow lay the paper across an existing trail Lay a similar piece of new paper across an existing trailLay a similar piece of new paper across an existing trail

Confirming your results Ants should follow the trail on the paper that formerly was a path to the foodAnts should follow the trail on the paper that formerly was a path to the food Ants should show little interest in the other paperAnts should show little interest in the other paper You can quantify by counting ants on the papersYou can quantify by counting ants on the papers As always, have several groups repeat the testAs always, have several groups repeat the test

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