Giant Ant Farm review


We received a Giant Ant Farm and some harvester ants from Heath Scientific to try.

The Ants

Harvester ants are HUGE. These aren’t your run-of-the-mill tiny sidewalk ants. Even without a magnifying glass, you can clearly see their mandibles and other body parts.

The Farm

The Giant Ant Farm is fantastic for more than one child. The large, double-sided viewing area gives plenty of space for kids to come close and observe the ants.

The only drawback is the base: we’ve accidentally knocked it over a couple times. Then again, we have a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old, so accidents are not unexpected. I’m certain that older kids wouldn’t knock it over. A large-base alternative that won’t get knocked over is the ant hill, which has a smaller viewing area but is more stable.

Taking care of the ants

Ants are low-maintenance. They just require a few squirts of water and crumbs of food. The ant farm came with a years supply of food, which makes it easy to feed them.

For all ages

My 4-year-old and a 2-year-old were absolutely fascinated when we set up the ant farm. Elementary aged kids will love the farm, as well–and they will be thrilled to see the tunnels the ants build.

I find it fascinating to watch the ants too. You can see how they communicate and react to events–like water raining on their farm. It’s unbelievable that, even though no one ant is directing them, they still manage to get communal activities done. At first, they’d dig and refill each others tunnels, but now they’ve built several together.

Steps to a Successful Science Fair Project

Science fair project

8 steps to a successful science fair project. Photo by terren.

  • Did the student learn something from the project?
  • Did the student follow the scientific method to complete the experiment?

If the answer to each these questions is yes, then the student was successful. Let me give you 8 steps to a Successful Science Fair Project.

  1. The first and most important step is the Selection of a Topic. The topic should be of interest to the student and selected prior to designing the science fair project. Example topics could include oceanography, basketball, ballet, sharks, micro-organisms, magnets, etc.
  2. The second step involves some creativity. At this point, you must ask a question about your topic that can be answered in an experiment. For example, if the topic was micro-organisms, the question might be, “What surface in my house contains the most bacteria?”
  3. Next, you must research the topic and discover background information that will be useful for your experiment. In order to answer the question above, you would need to know how to grow bacteria, how to take samples, optimum growth temperature, safety procedures, where do bacteria grow, etc.
  4. Then, you need to take the question from step 2 and reword it, so that, a purpose statement is created. From the question we created in step 2, our purpose statement could be, “The purpose of my experiment is to determine which surface in my home contains the most bacteria.”
  5. Now take the purpose of your experiment and develop a hypothesis. The hypothesis is an educated guess as to the outcome of your experiment. Your hypothesis could be, “My hypothesis is that the toilet seat has the most bacteria.” Don’t ever change your hypothesis. Your hypothesis is based on your research and knowledge. If the experiment disproves your hypothesis, that is OK. An incorrect hypothesis does not make an unsuccessful project.
  6. Design the experiment. This is where most people start. Never start with the experiment, because many times the outcome is know. Learning and using the scientific method is the most important part. During this step, you will determine the materials needed, explain the procedure, collect data and record results.
  7. Draw a conclusion. The conclusion is simply, “Was my hypothesis correct or incorrect?” Your conclusion might be, “In conclusion, my hypothesis was incorrect, the kitchen sink was actually the area that contained the most bacteria.”
  8. The final step is to make an attractive science fair display. You should have label headings, such as, Purpose, Hypothesis, Materials, Procedure, Data/Results, Conclusion. Display part of your experiment. If parts of the experiment are not able to be displayed, use photos that explain your procedure and results.

Electrolysis of Water Kit

This post takes a look at the Hydro-Splitter Kit offered by Heath Scientific. The Hydro-Splitter Kit is a science fair project for kids that educates them about electricity and the electrolysis of water.

Other projects similar to the Hydro-Splitter are also available from the Heath Scientific website. The website offers science supplies as well as other science projects cover a wide range of topics from carbon to light and optics kits. These kits offer a cost effective way for parents to enrich their children’s minds while having fun at the same time.

General Information

Water is made up of twice as many hydrogen molecules as oxygen molecules; this is why the chemical formula is H2O. Electricity breaks this formula down when introduced into water. The molecules split with hydrogen appearing Hydro Splitter Kitat the cathode and the oxygen will mix with one hydrogen molecule making hydroxide.

Supplies Needed

- 1 Beaker
- 2 Carbon Rod Electrodes
- 1 Acid/Base Indicator
- 3 Alligator Clip Wires
- Salt
- 2 Droppers
- 9 Volt Battery- not included in the Hydro-Splitter Kit

Experiment Procedure

The carbon rod electrodes are connected to the battery with the alligator clip wires. Fill the beaker with 200 milliliters of water along with 25 drops of acid/base indicator and a pinch of salt. Adding a second 9 Volt battery can increase the speed of the reaction.

Results

There will be more hydrogen molecules than oxygen in the water and the electrode that the hydrogen is drawn to will have more bubbles. The water around this electrode will be blue; the water around the other electrode where the oxygen is drawn will be pink. This kit allows for a cost effective way to explain the concepts of electricity and voltage.

Founded by Pat and Heath Nichols, Heath Scientific is a provider of educational supplies located in Cedar Hill, Texas. Major suppliers of Heath Scientific include AntWorks, Thames & Kosmos, Uncle Milton, and Can You Imagine. If you are interested in hosting a school fundraiser, or obtaining science related educational tools, contact Heath Nichols at Heath Scientific by email at heath@heathscientific.net or by phone at (972) 291-4223.