In this middle school program, students learn about the many types of animal behavior research and why it is so important to conduct studies on animals in the wild and in captivity. Students also formulate a hypothesis, design a method to test it, utilize a sample ethogram, collect live animal behavior data, analyze the data and interpret the results. Teachers often have students share their data by writing a scientific paper discussing their research.
Students will observe a chinchilla in a clear enclosure with food, water and volcano dust. After learning about natural chinchilla behavior the students will follow the scientific method. Students will also observe a juvenile alligator in a shallow pool with cypress mulch, water and food. After learning about natural alligator behavior the students will follow the scientific method.