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Amazing Ants: Simple Sidewalk Science
This book guides students through the process of developing a series of experiments with ants—one of the easiest live animals to acquire and use in a scientific setting. It includes information about how to find, bait, and identify ants; how to conduct experiments using ants; how to analyze and present the data gathered; resources for further exploration; and more.
Ants are an interesting and convenient introduction to science for young people who want to learn about the process of science and the design of scientific experiments, as well as those interested in biology. This book, which is both an instruction book and a research notebook, guides students through the process of developing a series of experiments with ants—one of the easiest live animals to acquire and use in a scientific setting. It includes information about how to find, bait, and identify ants; how to conduct experiments using ants; how to analyze and present the data gathered; resources for further exploration; and more. Although it is written for the students themselves, it also contains an instructor section with sample exercises for classes of students, as well as advice for keeping ant colonies to enable students to continue their study of ants all year long.
With a lifetime in science, both in research and in teaching, Dr. Butler’s aim is to show students that science is “a method of studying the world rather than a collection of facts about it.”
“Amazing Ants is an excellent resource that would benefit all those desiring to strengthen their understanding of scientific principles. Through an engaging examination of ants, the text focuses on the scientific process and how students can conduct experiments, analyze data, and disseminate results. The experiments themselves are clearly described and utilize commonly found items. Questions are not merely fill-in-the-blank, as many other science resources are; rather, they are thoughtful and require critical thinking and reflection. Detailed photos and graphs serve as a guide and ensure that researchers get the most out of the experiments. As the scientific process often yields conflicting or unexpected results, the inclusion of a chapter specifically addressing this possibility helps readers to view those results as an exciting opportunity rather than a failure. For those desiring to share their research findings, specific guidance is provided on how to do that. The inclusion of strong print and web-based resources strengthens the educational value of the book and encourages students to continue their scientific inquiry. As a nursing educator and homeschooling mother for 15 years, I highly recommend this book as an excellent way to study the scientific process!” – Lisa Firestine MSN, RN, homeschool parent
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