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A Warm or A Cool Environment


Problem: Do mealworms (or earthworms or pillbugs or snails) prefer environments that are hot, warm, cool or cold?

Research: Look up information about the animal that you choose (pick only one type). Your background research should explain what type of animal they are, what they look like and where they live.

Hypothesis: Predict which temperature most of the mealworms (or earthworms or snails)  will choose.
I think that most mealworms will choose a  ______________ environment.

Setting Up the Experiment:


Manipulated Variable: Temperature of the environment (This is the only thing you can change.)
Responding Variable: The number of mealworms that choose to be in each temperature (these are the results that you will count)


  1. Set up the terrarium and place the animals inside while you set up the rest of the experiment.
  2. Tear off a sheet of aluminum foil, about 1 meter long. Fold it in half lengthwise so that it is a long narrow rectangle. Now fold up the edges on all four sides so that the animals won't fall off or climb over. It should look like a long, narrow tray.
  3. Use the marker and draw lines to divide the tray into 4 sections. Mark the sections hot, warm, cool, cold.
  4. Fill one container with very hot water (ask an adult to help you).
  5. Fill the other container with ice water.
  6. Put both containers on the table and put the aluminum foil tray on top. One edge of the tray should be over the hot water and the other edge should be over the ice water. If the middle of the tray sags too much, you may need to put an empty container or a book under it.
  7. Place all 20 animals on the tray. Watch them as they move around for about 5 minutes.
  8. After 5 minutes, record the number of animals in each section.
  9. Do the test 5 times and record your results on the chart. Add the columns for each temperature.
Make a chart like this to record your results. Then you can graph the totals on a bar graph.
# of animals in HOT environment 
# of animals in WARM environment 
# of animals in COOL environment 
# of animals in COLD environment 

Look over your results. What did you find out? Did most of the animals prefer one temperature? Write your conclusion and answer the problem. Tell if your hypothesis was correct or incorrect.