Purpose:

The purpose of this ISP is to see how many pennies a bess bug can pull on the different surfaces, as well as determining what on average a bess bug can pull in excess of his body weight. We believe that the bess bugs can pull more pennies on their natural habitat, wood. A United States penny minted after 1982 weighs approximately 2.5 grams. (www.usmint.gov) We will test the bess bugs on wood, its natural terrain, carpet, and styrofoam. We will be testing this by attaching a penny to a carrier, and putting one on a different bess bug for each surface to move around on. We want to see what the most pennies a bess bug can carry on each surface. The bess bugs have an exoskeleton that is hard to penetrate, so it is harder to kill. They also are hard to anger, therefore they do not pinch humans, and they have nothing harmful on them. (www.ihsfoss.org) The bess bug eats fungus growing on feces and decaying wood. They have four body parts while most insects have three. This makes them faster, and that means they are better for testing. (www.insectidentification.org) They usually live over a year and are very strong. (bug guide.net/node/view/60) The bess bug lives in moist areas with decaying wood, but they can live under any natural temperature. They can be found in the east, southeast, and midwest regions of the United States. (www.wikipedia.com) The bess bug is classified into the insect order, Coleoptera. Coleoptera is the largest order of organisms. Also, one in every four animals is a beetle. (www.delta-education.com) Bess bugs are usually 1.2-1.6 inches in length and usually weigh four grams. They are flat and squarish shape, with a horn that points forward on the top of the head. (www.britannica.com) Our experiment will see if the bess bugs can pull more pennies on their natural habitat, or if they are able to perform better on a different surface. My hypothesis is that I believe that if the bess bugs are on the wood, then they will preform better.

We will need three bess bugs for this project. Each bess bug will be given one minute to pull the penny across the length of each of the surfaces; each surface will have a dimension of two feet by nine and a half inches. In addition to measuring the length of the surface traveled by each bess bug, they will also be timed. Every bug will be given an opportunity to travel across each of the three surfaces in the given time. Once each bug has completed pulling one penny across each of the surfaces, a determination will be made as to on which surface the bess bugs performed the best. That surface will then be utilized to help determine what percentage of the bess bugs weight it is able to pull. The number of pennies pulled by each bess bug will continue to increase by one until they are unable to pull the pennies any further.

The following materials will be needed for this project:
-A McDonalds dipping sauce container
-Dental floss
-Two feet by nine and a half inch piece of plywood.
-Two feet by nine and a half inch piece of styrofoam
-Two feet by nine and a half inch piece of carpet
-Tape Measurer/ruler
-Bess bugs
-Timer
-Pennies
-A scale


WEBSITES USED
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passalidae
http://lhsfoss.org/fossweb/teachers/materials/plantanimal/bessbeetle.html
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/63016/bess-beetle
http://www.insectidentification.org
http://bugguide.net/node/view/127
http://delta-education.com/productdetail.aspx?Collection=N&prodID=4706&menuID=
http://www.usmint.gov/about_the_mint/fun_facts/?action=fun_facts2


Wood
Styrofoam
Carpet
Bug #1
Time/Distance
DNC
1:30.6
1:49.2
Bug #2
Time/Distance
DNC
DNC
1:57.3
Bug #3
Time/Distance
1:48.9
1:27.3
1:36.5
All the bugs attempted to go through all three terrains and either could not finish, or got the received time. I could tell that the bigger bugs were able to do the task easier (Bugs 1 and 3). And I felt like they did the best on the carpet even though bug number 2 did not finish. I think based off the information that the Bess Bugs might also perform well on a tri-fold board and maybe even on artificial turf.