EdLab Spark: ANTS!!

We have created an internet-connected leaf-cutter ants nest, based in MMUs John Dalton building. The nest generates a live-feed of both imagery and movement data (the ants trigger a counter as they pass key points in the nest) – and young people are able to suggest experiments around which this data will be formed (what happens if you play classical music at one end of the nest?).

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The next step is to ‘educatify’ this resource: generating as many different forms of learning. These might range to direct study of the behaviour of ants, through to understanding scientific method, understanding of evolutionary traits – or cross disciplinary use of the ants as a stimuli (stories about the hive? Art produced using the data or imagery produced?).

We would like you to exercise your full creativity in producing resources which can accompany the website of the nest, and workshops and activities which can be delivered in school drawing on it. In engaging with this project, you will develop deeper understandings of exploratory and practical learning – and the power of child-initiated directions in learning. We will also play with notions of engrossment and fascination as emotive qualities of the learning process (with the ants as monsters which hook the attention of children)

More information:
To get involved in this project, or to work on a challenge which supports the development of this project, contact m.peace @mmu.ac.uk or edlab @mmu.ac.uk

Partner Name: Primary and Secondary Schools
Keywords: Biology, Behavioural Science, Evolution, Art, Data, Statistics, Computing Supervising