Science Project:

Animal Camouflage

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Problem:

How effective is camouflage in ensuring the survival of living things

Materials:

  • Pipe cleaners
  • Toothpicks
  • Colored buttons
  • Colored construction paper
  • White paper
  • Magic markers
  • Scissors
  • Tape and plastic bags

Procedure

  1. Gather all the materials that you will need for this project.
  2. Select two classmates or friends who will serve as your investigators.
  3. Copy the Data Chart provided so that you can readily record all of the information.
  4. Use the construction paper to make leaves, worms, and butterflies. Use all of the colored buttons, color all of the pipe cleaners and tooth picks to create “organisms in hiding”. Match them to the surroundings outside of your house. All of these will be your camouflages which you will place in the yard and which will blend in with the surroundings. Make certain to count the number of each so that you will be able to note how many your investigators retrieved and how many they missed.
  5. Prepare your investigators. Give them instructions to search the yard for objects that do not belong there and provide them with plastic bags in which to store their findings.
  6. Upon their return, it is time to count and tall what they have collected and records the information in the data chart.
  7. Analyze the results. What do you conclude? Did you succeed in hiding, in camouflaging a large number of objects? Did the objects that were not found match their surroundings in color?
  8. Write up your experiment. Include your research and bibliography. If you were to improve on this project, what would you do differently?

Data Chart

Objects used as camouflage
Number of Hidden Objects
Number of Found Objects
Observations: Color Matches?
Pipe cleaners
Tooth Picks
Buttons
Leaf cut outs
Other cut outs

Author: Muriel Gerhard
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