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Discussion Starter #1
Science project 6th grade, 3 groups of 3 Leucomelas tads.. 3 different foods. protein, algae discs and frog bites as a control.

Growth rate is the study.

Would anyone with a degree sign off on this as a safe experiment for the tads?

Dan
 

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with a group that small your unlikely to uncover any significant differences due to other variables. something as small as the size of the food pieces, or solubility could be of greater affect than the food itself. small variations in water quality and quantity as well as temperature could have a greater effect as well. genetics could play a much more important role. my point is that in a group of only 9 subjects its going to be hard to expect the audience to believe that the growth rate was an effect of the food type rather than any number of other possible variables.

an interesting experiment with tadpoles (although possily a little more advanced than 6th grade) would be to test different estrogens (or other chemicals that bind to estrogen receptors like atrazine) dissolved in the water to determine if tadpoles subjected to exposure were more likely to sustain reproductive defects. of course this would require a significant amount of time to allow the frogs to grow to an age where they could be dissected and the organs could be examined.

you could test a variety of other things and have a greater chance of a clear result IMO.

water temperature
communal vs individual containers
empty cup vs cup with cover (such as a leaf)
etc.

again it will be important to ensure that water parameters remain exactly the same for each tadpole. if it were me i'd be sure to change the water daily and to use the exact same water to fill all cups. using containers that have a clear flat bottom (like a petri dish) could be a good way to document growth. simply draw or print out a very small grid (mm would be good) and place it below the dish. use a camera to take pictures and determine growth from the scale which should be clearly visible below the tadpole.

james
 

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james 67 has a point but it is a 6th grader - not a college student lol this sounds like a much better and more interesting experiment than which catfood does my cat like best
 

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Sounds pretty good for 6th grade project. I actually really like the temperature experiment that James suggested. That would be just as easy, and I think you could show the differences quite well. Either way though, glad your interested in darts enough to do a project on them. I did a large capstone project in my zoology class last year on darts, turned out great, lots of kids very interested.
 

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I gave some several leuc tadpoles for a middle school science project similar to this, but the person tested whether or not changing the water of the tadpoles affected growth rate. It sounds like an interesting experiment, good luck with it.
Bryan
 

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I gave some several leuc tadpoles for a middle school science project similar to this, but the person tested whether or not changing the water of the tadpoles affected growth rate. It sounds like an interesting experiment, good luck with it.
Bryan
Do you know what the outcome was?
 

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If I remember correctly, I think the tadpoles that had at least some water changes came out slightly before the tadpoles that had all of the debris and detritus left in their cups by a few days. Interestingly, the ones that came out first (changed water) also had slightly darker colors (more of an orange-yellow compared to the plain yellow/green-yellow of those that came out later). It wasn't anything significant, and I'm not sure what caused it or if it was just coincidental, but I also notice the same pattern sometimes with frogs left in the tank to morph vs. taken out and raised artificially.
Bryan
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you for the responses,

What are you trying to do to me James..lol estrogens?atrazine? I dread the word science fair as it is..
I do like the idea of the graph paper, we will use that.

The real problem is that they are making it difficult to use any vertebrae animal. We will have to get a vet or some equivalent to sign off that the actual experiment shouldn't cause the tads any harm.

Dan
 

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I am in Seventh Grade and this sounds like an awesome project, but maybe for someone older than 6th graders. I would be very ready for this to take place in my classroom, but then again, I have the frog knowledge of a high school student.
 

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High School Science Teacher, B.S in chemistry. Keeper/breeder of chams, T's, Frogs, Torts, Geckos and someday humans JK.

For Siemens (Siemens Foundation - Siemens Competition) I believe they do not accept research for any vertebrate system.

For your competition, look online for exotic pet vets, write an email with your parents explaining your research proposal and you are looking for professional approval.

In your proposal you should include a detailed methods section considering ALL variables.

1) Water; source, temperature
2) Containers; size, shape, material
3) Air; ventilation, flow, temperature
4) Light; type, time cycle.
5) Food: types, manufactures
6) Animal: source, type, age (try to completely minimize variation)

- I would find published resources about how to raise the species of frog you are raising --> do not have to be scholarly, rather a book or a website (not a forum; not certified, heresay). Could be very simple. Then you have background on which to defend or at least base your methods.

- Control all variable outside of the one you are choosing. Also, dependent vs independent variable. What are you changing and what are you measuring? If you want to make sure your measurements are resulting from your controlled changes, you will need to isolate the system from other variables.

- Population: how many tads are you using? I'd recommend something inexpensive.

- Have you raise tads before? Maybe tough to go through it the first time via experiment. (I'm having a hack of tough time which is why I even read your post!)

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
First off.. I didn't realize anyone thought I was the 6Th grader.

We have all the standards listed .. the project has been approved by the teacher. (6th Grade Adv Science Florida public school)
Feel free to list any parameters we may have missed, but this isn't our first rodeo.. just our first with vertebrae animal.

I would appreciate any insight you volunteer Irfin.

What I am really looking to do is use dendroboard as a resource. I am looking for a qualified person or 3 to agree and sign off that we are not dooming these tad poles to death.

Dan
 

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Discussion Starter #14
@ irfin Originally we planed to use a centimeter tape.
We decided to use James idea of the graph paper so we could measure length and width and document with a photo.

Thanks James!

1) Water; source, temperature
2) Containers; size, shape, material
3) Air; ventilation, flow, temperature
4) Light; type, time cycle.
5) Food: types, manufactures
6) Animal: source, type, age (try to completely minimize variation)


All Covered..

We just need the qualified approval..
 

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Discussion Starter #15
A quick up-date on the project.

The committee signed off on the vertebrae animal form by accepting my experience as an established hobbyist.

Alex received 1st place in the zoology category. He was one of two 6th graders that took 1st in a 6-8th grade competition. (1400 kids)
He has suddenly become the leucomelas ambassador at his middle school.

On to county science fair Feb 11 2012.
 
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very cool! congrats for the first place! my school makes absolutely no exceptions for experiments on animals with vertebrae, they even had a problem for an experiment on the growth rate of coral.
 
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