Ants are fun to watch. They are constantly moving and digging tunnels in the sand. Do you think there is anything that would make ants dig tunnels faster? Questions like this are what science projects are all about.

ants on ant hill close up


First you will need to think of a question that you have about ants.

  • Does light or darkness effect how quickly ants dig tunnels?
  • What kind of food do ants like the best?
  • Can temperature effect ant behavior?
  • Do ants dig tunnels better in sand or gel?


After you decide what question you want to answer, you can do a little research and make an educated guess, or hypothesis.

  • You might think ants will work longer and faster when exposed to constant light because they may think it is morning all the time.
  • When certain foods are offered, you might predict that most ants will chose sugary foods instead of vegetables.
  • Maybe you guess that colder temperatures will make ants think it is winter, and they will go down in their tunnels to hibernate.
  • After learning about the new kind of Ant Gel Habitats that are available, you might think that ants would be able to dig tunnels faster through gel than in sand.


Next you will need to set up an experiment to test your hypothesis. The following are some example science experiment ideas:

Experiment #1 - Light vs Darkness

Test the effect of light and darkness on ants. You will want to have two observatories for this experiment. Place the same number of ants into each observatory. Keep one observatory in the dark for a specified amount of time. Keep the other observatory in the light during the same time period. Note the differences in how much tunneling has been done. Was your hypothesis correct?

Experiment #2 Ant Food Preferences

Test the ants reaction to different foods. You can place ants into a large plastic tub. Place different foods in each corner of the tub and see which food the most ants go to. Take pictures for displaying at the science fair. Do they prefer certain foods? Some good foods to try are sugar, salt, citrus fruit, green vegetables, meats, granola. Try comparing Carbohydrate, Fat, and Protein. Which do they like the best?

Experiment #3 - Temperature

Test the effects of temperature change on ants. This experiment could work well if temperatures outside are between 35 and 45 degrees fahrenheit ( make sure it is not freezing ). Notice the activity of the ants as they move around when at room temperature. You may want to make a video recording that you can show at the science fair. Now place the observatory outside. After about 10 minutes observe the activity of the ants. Was your hypothesis correct?

If it is not significantly colder outside than inside your home, you may also perform this experiment by placing your ant observatory in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes. The cold temperature from the refrigerator should produce a similar effect on the ants.

Experiment #4 Sand vs Gel

Test ants ability to tunnel in Sand vs. Gel. Ants naturally live in sand. However, you may have seen ant habitats like the Light-up Gel Ant Farm which contain a gel which the ants live in, eat, and tunnel through. You can perform a test to see which is better for ants to tunnel in. You will need 1 ant habitat that uses sand and 1 habitat that uses gel. If you put the ants into both at the same time you will be able to see if ants can tunnel better in man made gel or in sand. Browse our Ant Habitats.

Ant Observation at Home

An Ant Farm or Habitat lets you watch and learn about the fascinating world of ants in your own home. We would be happy to help you get you started. We have a variety of Live Ant Habitats available. We will also send you live Western Harvester ants for your observatory.

Ants Alive Ant Viewer Observatory

Ant Viewer Observatory $9.95

The Ant Viewer is a cylinder shaped observatory about 5 1/2 inches tall. An inexpensive way to experience the world of ants. The Ant Viewer comes with Sand, Ant Food, Water Pipet, and a Small Supply of Ants (About 15).

Order 2 or more for Science Projects and get a great discount. (2 for $7.50)

Note: If you will not be setting up your Ant Viewer(s) right away, please request a certificate for your ants that you can redeem when you are ready.