Harker Preschool’s transitional kindergarten (TK) class just completed an exciting research project on the behavior and habitat of pill bugs (often referred to as roly-polys, these are the little grey bugs that roll into a ball when startled). Two students, Daniel Kroll and Dylan Ruffy, began studying the bugs on the playground in September, which led to the long-term study. Nina Smith, assistant teacher, guided the project for many months, involving the other students and supporting the researchers as they traveled the road of discovery.
Classmates Rishaan Lawande and Aisha Agrawal created a small terrarium to determine whether they could keep pill bugs in the classroom. After the death of the first pill bugs, students discovered that pill bugs need water in order to live. Rishaan and Aisha kept a log book in which they noted how much water they added to the habitat each week.
Students Laura Zhang and Anaika Verma collected data on how many pill bugs were in the habitat and discovered that the number kept increasing, so they concluded that the pill bugs were having babies. Laura and Anaika researched the pill bug life cycle.
Natalie Uhlig and Vedika Deoras made observations and recorded data about pill bug behavior.
As the pill bug colony grew larger, the students made larger terrariums. The students were eager to share their observations, research and discoveries, so they presented their observations, log books, book research and portable pill bug habitat last week to students in the preschool’s Acorn cottage.
The students’ paths of discovery were a lot of fun!
“I like the roly-polys,” said Clara Yu-Svensson, age 4.
“I found a worm,” added Adam Shimelfarb, age 4.
“[The habitat] is very wet!” noted Fiona Yan, age 4.
“The magnifier makes [the pill bug] look bigger,” observed Rohan Radhakrishna, age 4.
And the researchers appreciated their audience! “[The Acorns] were good listeners,” said Rishaan, one of the TK researchers.