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Effects Of An Electromagnetic Field On Mealworms

based on 11 ratings
Author: Maxine Levaren

People are exposed to electromagnetic fields daily, when they walk through metal detectors, stand under power lines, ring an electric doorbell, or use computers.

Although the effects of electromagnetism on organic material aren’t yet completely known, some studies suggest an association between exposure and cancer. With his project, Robert Knight tested the effects of an electromagnetic field on 100 mealworms.

His display is shown in the figure.

Figure: Project display for “The effects of an electromagnetic field on mealworms.”

Hypothesis

I believe that mealworms exposed to an electromagnetic field will develop faster than those that are not exposed to electromagnetism.

Independent variables

Electromagnetic field

Dependent variables

Rate of change through developmental stages

Controls

  • Types of mealworms used
  • Conditions in cages, including food given to each group

Experimental groups

One hundred mealworms are continuously exposed to an electromagnetic field using copper wire coiled around a steel pole and attached to a transformer

Control groups

One hundred mealworms exposed to all the same conditions but with no electric current attached to the copper wire

Materials

  • Two cages
  • Mealworms (100 per cage)
  • Electromagnetic field (two metal posts, copper wire, transformer)
  • Electronic scale
  • Bran
  • Apples

Procedures

  1. Fill each cage with same amount of bran (1 inch high) and add pieces of apple.
  2. Set one metal post wrapped 200 times in copper wire in both cages.
  3. Attach electrical current to one metal post.
  4. Measure extent of electrical field output.
  5. Separate mealworms into 2 groups of 100, and place each group into labeled cage (groups 1 and 2).
  6. Maintain environment temperature between 70 and 80 degrees.
  7. Observe for change to cocoon and beetles.

Results

The table shows my observed mealworm development in the experimental and control groups.

Table                          Observed Weekly Development of Mealworms

 

Pupa

Beetles

Week

Experimental

Control

Experimental

Control

1

1

0

0

0

2

6

0

0

0

3

27

12

11

0

4

60

51

20

14

5

0

20

50

61

The results obtained showed significantly faster development to pupa and beetle stages in the experimental group. There were no differences in the physical characteristics and no difference in mortality up to the first month of life.

Conclusions

My hypothesis was that mealworms exposed to an electromagnetic field would develop into beetles significantly faster. My results proved that my hypothesis was correct.

An improvement to this project would be to repeat testing with additional groups of mealworms to validate the results of this experiment.

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