JUMPING JACK GRASSHOPPER

Background Information: Did you know that the average grasshopper can jump up to
twenty times their body length? If humans were able to do this, we would jump up to
120 feet? There are over 600 species of grasshoppers that vary in shape, color, and size.
Males and females are very similar, but females are usually larger. Like other insects,
grasshoppers have three main body sections- a head, thorax and abdomen- all covered by
a stiff shell called an exoskeleton. The grasshopper and its relatives, the cricket and
locust, are hosts to a parasite called the horsehair worm. In this lab you will investigate
several factors to see which, if any have an impact on the grasshopper’s jumping ability.

Purpose:     Our purpose in this lab is to answer three main questions…

       1.What factors (mass, density, overall length, femur length, hind leg width)
influence a grasshoppers jumping ability (length of jump)?

     2.How can we use scientific tools, the metric system, data tables, and graphs to
communicate our answer to question number one to others?

       3.How can we use current research and resources to help us develop a good
hypothesis and carry out sound scientific practices?

Hypothesis: Use the websites and resources listed below to answer the research
questions that follow. Then use this information to write thoughtful hypotheses. Write
two hypotheses about which factor influences a grasshopper’s jumping ability the
most/least in your lab report. One for the factor that least affects the grasshopper’s
jumping ability and one for the most.


Bugguide.net (left side choose grasshopper picture)
Biology textbook Chapter 28-1
Insect field guide
Class dissection sketches/notes

Research Questions (write in complete sentences)

   1. What are the major internal and external anatomical structures and related
      functions of a grasshopper (see handout given)?
   2. What are the major types of Michigan grasshoppers?
   3. What is the typical diet of a Michigan grasshopper?
   4. What is a parasite and how is the horsehair parasite dependent on the grasshopper
      for survival?
   5. What is the scientific name given to the horsehair parasite that lives in
   6. What is the scientific name given to the specific grasshopper you are working on
      within this lab?
   7. What does current research say or lead you to believe about a grasshoppers
      jumping ability? This answer should be used to write your hypotheses.

Procedures (Methods):

   1. Research and record your answers to the seven questions above. You will be
      asked to turn these in for a grade.

   2. Make hypotheses for the variable(s) you feel will have the most/least impact on
      your grasshopper’s jumping ability. Record your hypotheses in your lab report.

   3. Share your research answers and hypotheses with the class.
   4. Collect 3 grasshoppers for your lab group to use for this study and place them in
      your labeled container as directed by the teacher.

   5. Use an insect field guide to identify the type(s) of grasshoppers you have

   6. Obtain the mass and overall length of each grasshopper, don’t get them mixed up.
      Use the appropriate tools and units for measurement as directed by your teacher.
      Record your data in the data table provided.
   7. Measure the length the grasshopper jumps; try to avoid jumps that include flight
      time. Conduct 3 trials for each grasshopper (three jumps) and record the average
      jump distance in your data.

   8. After all jump data is complete for your grasshoppers, calculate the density of
      each grasshopper.

               You will need to use the mass already recorded and volume measurements
               to calculate density. Your teacher will show you how to find the volume of
               a grasshopper. Remember that density = mass divided by volume. The
               units for density are your mass units divided by volume units.

   9. Measure the hind leg length and width of each grasshopper. Use the appropriate
      tools and units as directed by you teacher. Record your measurements in the data

   10. Dissect a grasshopper and create a labeled diagram of its major internal and
       external structures according to your teacher’s directions.

   11. Use Excel to create a spreadsheet of class data. Print the completed spreadsheet to
       include in your lab report.

   12. Examine the class data for the variable you thought would have the most impact
       on jumping ability before you began (mass, hind leg length, leg width, total body
       length). Construct a graph that shows how this variable, according to class results,
       impacts jumping ability (i.e. mass vs. jump length) Make sure you include all
       characteristics of a high quality graph as directed by your teacher. Include this
       graph in your lab report. Computer generated is fine.

   13. Type your final lab report according to the rubric provided and directions given.


Include the following pieces of evidence in the results section of your lab report.

       1. Complete data table for your three grasshoppers.
       2. Excel spreadsheet of class data.
       3. Graph of one variable vs. length based on class data.

Answer the following questions in your discussion section in complete sentences.

   1. Which factors, according to class data, seemed to have the greatest impact on
       jump length?
   2. Which factors, according to class data, seemed to have the least impact on jump
   3. How would using class data impact the validity of our results?
   4. How did your lab group differ compared to the class data?
   5. How do your results support of refute your hypotheses and background research?
   6. Which data was the easiest/most difficult to obtain?
   7. How did you determine which measurement tools and to use in this lab?
   8. What is the possibility of errors in this lab?
   9. How might these errors influence your results? (Be specific)
   10. How might you reduce errors in this lab if you could do it over again?
   11. Is there anything you might change about the experimental design of this lab to
       increase the validity and reliability of your results?
   12. What further tests could you do to ensure your results are true of grasshoppers?
   13. Upon completion of this lab, what questions would you propose for further study?
   14. Describe the anatomical features you would give to a superhero grasshopper
       based on what you learned about their jumping ability.


Prepare a conclusion per notes given in class and also include answers to the 3 questions
in the purpose section of this lab.


Correctly site, using APA format, recourses used for this lab and attach it to you lab

Enrichment Opportunity:

You may do either of the following lab enrichment opportunities with teacher permission
after your lab has been completed and turned in.

   1. Design and draw a superhero grasshopper complete with the anatomical features
      that would give it the greatest jumping ability. Your drawing should include
      labels for all external anatomical features and a creative name.
   2. Write a letter to a major funding source that discusses three possible uses for
      conducting additional research on jumping. Your job is to convince them that this
      research is worthy of funding.

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