AP Bio Students Test Pill Bug Environments

Students in Dr. Horan’s AP Biology classes overcame some initial squeamishness to test whether pill bugs had environmental preferences. The students set up two different but adjoing envrionemtns, and then set 10 pill bugs loose in each side to see if the bugs expressed a preference. They tracked the number of bugs per side every minute for ten minutes, and then conducted two more ten-minute trials.

Students tested a variety of environments. One set of containers had Red Bull and water, another had soap and vinegar, and another tested fresh squeezed orange juice versus Wawa orange juice. Not every experiment tested substances. One tested classical music against metal, and another tested light versus dark.

Prior to conducting their experiments, the students, who include seniors, juniors and freshmen, studied pill bugs, learning that they are crustaceans rather than insects.