Ants at the Picnic

Jasmine Ochoa, Victoria Acosta, Taryn Shoemake, Abby Navarro

Houston We Have A Problem

Will an ants receptors most likely be triggered by the strong odor released by the cheese, or will they go for the bread or candy?


If the ants are given the chance to choose between the candy, carb, cheese, or water, more will choose the cheese because of its strong, pungent odor. Therefor after 10 minutes all of the ants should be in the petri dish containing the cheese slice.
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Indoors, within a container with greased sides to prevent the ants from escaping.


  • 4 petri dishes
  • 30 ants
  • large, closed containers
  • tweezers
  • 1 oz of water
  • 3 jolly ranchers
  • 1 cheese slice
  • 3 cheezits

Control Group

The petri dish containing the water will be the control. Water is tasteless and odorless.

Constant Variables

  1. LIght
  2. Temperature
  3. Amount of ants

Manipulated Variables

  • 3 Jolly Ranchers
  • 3 cheezits
  • 1 Cheese Slice


The range is 10 minutes. Within those ten minutes, we will collect data after every minute.


  1. Gather materials
  2. Place the cheese, 8 crushed cheddar bunnies, 3 jolly ranchers, and water in separate petri dishes
  3. Grease the sides of the larger container
  4. Place the dishes within the larger container
  5. Once the petri dishes are in place, place the ants within the larger container
  6. Observe the ant's behavior every minute

Data Chart

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We reject the null hypothesis. Instead of the ants going to the cheese dish, they stayed stuck in the candy dish.

Degrees of freedom: 3

The Chi-Square results: 4.25<7.81