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The World of Crickets
Four laboratory exercises, designed by participants in the Cornell Institute for Biology Teachers, use crickets to teach the scientific process to elementary and middle school students. In one experiment, children make observations and record data on the types of food that crickets like to eat. In another lab, students determine if crickets respond to light or dark. A “Crickthermometer” activity has students design an experiment to find out whether they can predict air temperature by counting the number of times a cricket chirps—putting into practice what they have learned about using controls, making hypotheses, and recording and interpreting data. In the last activity, “The Musical World of Crickets,” students manipulate the temperature inside a container holding crickets to learn whether crickets prefer warmer or colder areas, and how temperature affects a cricket's song. Teachers will need to obtain live crickets and set up a “home” for them in the classroom. The lessons contain extensive teacher materials and information, including graphs and templates, as well as useful Web links.
Program Director: Jeff J. Doyle, Ph.D.
Award Years: 1989, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006
Summary: Cornell University is a private research institution in Ithaca, New York. Its HHMI-funded initiatives include:
- A summer Research Scholars Program for Cornell students and underrepresented minority undergraduates from other institutions;
- The Cornell Teacher Education Partnership (with the Cornell Education Department) to prepare science teachers still in training to provide meaningful science experiences for their future students; and
- The Cornell Institute for Biology Teachers, which offers summer institutes for K-12 teachers on molecular biology, genetics and other current topics and works with program participants to develop a variety of classroom resources made available on the Web.