Sweet Tooth Lab

Judy Klassen and Sara Fehr


Are ants more attracted to sugar than crackers over a 10 minute time period?


If four ants are placed in one petri dish containing sugar and four ants in one petri dish containing crackers for ten minutes, then the ants will be more attracted to the sugar than the crackers.

The manipulated variable in this lab is the ants’s attraction to sugar or crackers during the time period that they are being tested.

The range to be used is 0-10 minutes.

Control Setup:

There will be four ants placed in an empty petri dish, and four ants placed in another empty petri dish.

3 Constant Factors:

  • The number of ants will be a constant factor because that number doesn’t change and there will be no ants added during the experiment.

  • The petri dishes will stay in the same spot and temperature during the experiment.

  • The time will stay constant during the experiment. There will be no stopping the timer during the 10 minute time periods.


  • 8 ants

  • 1 Tablespoon of sugar

  • 2 crumbled crackers

  • 2 petri dishes

  • 1 timer


Manipulated variable procedure: Watch ants as they move about in the petri dishes containing crackers and sugar and record the number of ants that are going towards the petri dish containing crackers and the petri dish containing sugar every minute for 10 minutes by using the timer as your unit of measurement.

Control procedure: Have 2 empty petri dishes containing no food and place the four ants in each and record which petri dish they go into: left or right every minute for 10 min.


During the controlled procedure, the ants tended to move about in the petri dishes, but they didn’t travel to the opposite petri during the ten minute time period. Two of the ants switched during the manipulated procedure but the number of ants in each petri dish still remained the same. The ants didn’t show much off an attraction to either substance, but one ant took a liking in the sugar and roamed around on top of it. The ants also tried escaping the petri dishes during the experiment.
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Chi- squared test:

Result- Failed to Reject the null hypothesis that the there will be no difference in the ant’s attraction to both sugar and crackers.

Final variable was 0 due to no change in the ant’s behavior during the 1 minute intervals within the 10 min time period. 0 was smaller than the 3.84 p value.

There was one degree of freedom because we only had two outcomes.


We failed to reject the null hypothesis because the data remained the same throughout the whole experiment. It would of been possible to conduct an experiment with better results if we did more research over ants’ behaviors and which ants are more attracted to certain types of food. We probably would have gotten better data if we would have conducted the experiment several times to get more data to compare with. We could of also had bigger opening in between the petri dishes to let the ants know that there was an opening to move about from one dish to the other. However, the four ants in the petri dish containing the sugar enjoyed the sugar more than the four ants in the petri dish containing the crumbled crackers.