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Choice Chamber


Summary

Device used to investigate preferred habitats.

Operation

Choice chambers are used in biology lessons to see which habitat conditions specific animals prefer. Chambers used in schools usually consist of a clear plastic box which is divided into four or more separate sections.

The sections can contain different environments such as dry, damp, dark and light or a combination of these.

When woodlice or maggots are introduced into the centre of the choice chamber, they will move towards and into the section they prefer. By counting the amount of animals in each section after a given amount of time, students can deduce the preferred conditions for a particular species.

For the damp section, cotton wool soaked in water can be placed within. Ensure the wool is damp enough throughout the experiment. Black paper can be glued to the outside of the 'dark' section to provide a darkened environment. For this section, it is best to have the paper stuck to the outside as you may need to remove it to count the quantity of animals. If the paper is on the inside you may disturb them as you remove it to count them.

The dark and damp section can contain the damp cotton wool and the black paper covering.

Students can experiment with different conditions so a variety of materials may be required.

Woodlice are usually easy to find within most school grounds. Place a log or old piece of wood in undergrowth for a constant supply.

Choice chambers of varying sizes can be purchased through most lab suppliers.


Safety

 Caution

The contents of this page are for information only. Please refer to CLEAPSS or ASE safety advice and/or publications before undertaking any preparation, practical experiment or using any equipment featured on this site or any other.