This guide shows how to construct a choice chamber. Choice chambers are used in biology lessons to see which habitat conditions specific animals prefer. The type used in schools usually consists of a clear plastic box which is divided into four or more separate sections. These can be purchased through most general lab suppliers.
This version is relatively easy to construct and could form part of a ?habitats? lesson or after school club.
Fig 1 shows a sturdy cardboard box or plastic tray. This forms the base of the choice chamber. A plastic tray is probably best if one or more of the habitats contains items that may be moist. A paper box is a good size for this and so can be cut down to the correct size. A wall height of 10-15cm is suitable.
Fig 2 shows the box with the lid of a Petri dish placed in the centre. This is glued into place. This will be the starting point for the woodlice and so it is important that the centre of the dish is an equal distance from each habitat. Use heavy cardboard, Corriflute or mounting board (the type with a layer or foam between two layers of board) to add four walls, dividing the base into four evenly sized areas. Glue these into place using a glue gun ensuring there are no gaps where woodlice could fit through.
Fig 3 shows the habitats in place. Each should be as different as possible. Habitats can include damp, dark, light, stony, sandy, woody, dry, cold or warm environments.
Fig 4 shows some of the walls of the chamber painted black. You can either paint some or all. The colour or brightness may have an effect on woodlice preference and so selective painting may be incorporated into some of the habitats.
Fig 5 Shows a lid in place. This can be simply cut from a piece of stiff card and should be easily removable. A hole needs to be cut in the centre, which when placed on the box, sits directly over the Petri dish lid. This is so you can place the woodlice into the chamber through the lid. Holes may be cut into the lid to create a brighter environment (Fig 6).
For more information about choice chambers, see our related pages:Related Links