Investigation of Ants

by: Jayne Hamblin and Shelbie Ruiz


Over a 5 minute period, would ants prefer peaches or cottage cheese?


If we place ten ants in a petri dish containing cottage cheese on one side and a piece of a plum on the other, and place 10 more ants in a connected empty petri dish, then the majority of the ants will go to the plum side, because ants are attracted to sweet food.

Manipulated Variable

The food in the petri dishes, which is cottage cheese, and a peach.

3 Constant Factors

The 3 constant factors in this lab will be the cottage cheese, plums, and the ants.


Zero to five minutes.


The one petri dish with no food in it.


1. Two empty dishes

2. 20 ants in all

3. Same temperature in each dish


2 petri dishes

20 ants

1/2 tbsp of cottage cheese

1/2 tbsp of a plum



1/2 tbsp to measure with


1. collect 20 ants

2. get two petrie dishes

3. put cottage cheese and peach in one petri dish

4. put ten ants in one dish, and put ten in the other

5. test temperature of each dish

6. set timer for five minutes

7. record number of ants in each dish every thirty seconds

Manipulated Procedure

Put cottage cheese on one side of a petri dish and a piece of plum on the other. Place ten ants in the dish with the food and ten in the empty dish. Record data every 30 seconds.

Control Procedure

Connect two empty petri dishes and fill each with 10 ants. This dishes will be used as the control for the experiment.


We observed the ants every thirty seconds for ten minutes to see if they preferred a plum over cottage cheese.

Quantitative Data

Control Procedure:

Seconds: 0, 30, 60, 90, 120, 150, 180, 210, 240, 270, 300 Average:

Left: 10, 10, 10, 11, 14, 13, 10, 8, 13, 11, 11 12.1

Right: 10, 10, 10, 9, 6, 7, 10, 12, 7, 9, 9 9.9

Chai-Square Data: .442- Fail to reject

Manipulated Procedure:

Seconds: 0, 30, 60, 90, 120, 150, 180, 210, 240, 270, 300 Average:

Peach: 10, 6, 7, 7, 6, 6, 6, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8

Cottage Cheese: 10, 14, 13, 13, 14, 14, 14, 12, 12, 12, 12, 14

Chai- Square Data: 2- Rejected

Big image


In the beginning their were an equal number of ants with the cottage cheese and with the peach. After 30 seconds, the majority of the ants went to the cottage cheese. The amount of ants on each side after that generally stayed the same with only a 1 or 2 ant difference. At the end of the experiment the side with the peach only had 8 ants while the cottage cheese side had 12.


When we first placed ten ants in the petri dish containing cottage cheese and ten ants in the petri dish with the peach, we believed that the ants would prefer the peach over the cottage cheese because of its sweetness. Our hypothesis was incorrect because the majority of the ants loved the cottage cheese and went to that dish over a five minute period.