Year 11 GCSE Practical Science Experiment

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All Year 11 classes at Lansdowne School have been carrying out some practical experiments as they prepare for the GCSE Entry Level in science. The students have been learning about different species and the environments that they like to live in. A recent science session involved a careful experiment with some woodlice.

Miss McNie gathered a selection of woodlice from her own garden. The students held a class discussion about being respectful to woodlice, and making sure that none of them came to any harm during our experiment.

The pupils then learnt a little more about this species. We found out that they are the only land living crustaceans. They enjoy living around damp, dead wood. They come out at night to feed.

This then led to the experiment being devised. A choice chamber had been constructed in the Lansdowne science lab. This was a cardboard structure containing four different domains – a light and dry space, a dark and dry space, a light and damp space and a dark and damp space. We gave the woodlice the choice of where they would like to live!

All of the woodlice were placed in the centre of the structure. Year 11 students timed regular intervals, and then counted how many of the woodlice were in each chamber. We made a predication about which environment in our chamber they would choose.

Our prediction of the dark, damp space proved to be correct. We concluded that this choice was made because woodlice come out to eat at night when it is dark and damp. They were hopeful of finding some food in out chamber!

The students finished the session by recounting the facts that have been learnt, and then writing up the experiment in their science books.

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