Ant Farm Science Fair Project Ideas

Instructor: Shanna Fox

Shanna has been an educator for 20 years and earned her Master of Education degree in 2017. She enjoys using her experience to provide engaging resources for other teachers.

These ant farm science fair project ideas can help you get your upper elementary school students thinking about what they can study, analyze, and learn from their ant farms.

Ant Farm Science Fair Projects

Ant farm science fair projects are a great way to get upper elementary students involved and thinking analytically about the micro-world of ants. Ant farms come with so many great lessons, but these project ideas can be used to measure, track, and analyze data related to what students observe happening in their ant farm. Designed as independent student projects, these ideas can help you spur student thinking and get them excited about ants!

Hot or Cold?

Have students begin by researching and identifying the optimum temperature for their ant farm. Students can then monitor the temperature by using a thermometer and checking it at least twice a day. When they check the temperature, they should also assess the ants' movement, eating habits, and activity level. Ask students to create a list of questions to monitor: ''Are they active? Are they moving quickly or slowly? If food has been provided, are they quickly eating it?'' After students collect data for several days or a couple of weeks, ask them to analyze the information. How did different temperatures affect the results in each category: movement, eating habits, and activity levels? Lastly, have students draw conclusions, write a report, and create a display board that shows their findings.

  • Materials: thermometer, data tracking sheet

Tunnel Systems

Have students begin by researching the purpose and structure of ant tunnel systems. Then, have them predict how the tunnel system in their ant farm will begin and how it will look at the end of their experiment. What will be different? What will most likely stay the same? Twice a day, have students record data about the development of the ant farm's tunnel system. Has it grown? Are all the tunnels leading to the same place? Are there any dead ends? Students can even draw the initial tunnel system on day one and add to it with different colored pencils each day of their project. At the summation of the project, have students draw conclusions about how the tunnels were being used and identify if their predictions were correct. Students can then write a report and create a display board that shows the evolution of the ant farm's tunnel system, the purposes of tunnels, the results of their monitoring, and the accuracy of their predictions.

  • Materials: colored pencils, large poster paper, data collection sheet

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