Daily Play Time for Ferrets – Scientific Method Scenarios

Daily Play Time for Ferrets

Scenario:

Nicholas and Alexa noticed that their ferrets were becoming reckless and seemed to be bored. Every day the ferrets were taken out of their beds and put in their playpen to play for an hour, on average 3 times a day. Ferrets sleep 18 hours out of the day. Nicholas thought that if they were able to run around and play in a bigger, less constricted area, they would tire out more and be more comfortable in their cage. They decided to take the ferrets upstairs to let them run around on the top floor instead of putting them in their playpen when it was time for them to come out. They spent the same amount of time upstairs that they would have in their playpen. Nicholas and Alexa found that, in fact, the ferrets were more tired and more comfortable to sleep in their beds when they had a bigger area to play in.

Bear is the white ferret in the picture on top. The dark ferret more visible in the picture on the bottoms name is Mooshy, and the lighter coloured ferret Mooshy is lying on top of is named Bizzy. Bear and Mooshy are boys and Bizzy is a girl.

Questions:

  1. What was the initial problem?
  2. What other experiences were the ferrets time upstairs being compared to? (Control)
  3. What was the independent variable?
  4. What was the dependent variable?
  5. What area is best for the ferrets to play in?
  6. What could Alexa and Nicholas do to improve their experimental design?

Answers:

  1. What was the initial problem?

Alexa and Nicholas’ ferrets were becoming reckless and bored in their cage and their playpen.

  1. What other experiences were the ferrets time upstairs being compared to? (Control)

The previous days that the ferrets had spent only playing in their playpen.

  1. What was the independent variable?

Where the ferrets played and how much time they spent playing.

  1. What was the dependent variable?

How tired the ferrets were, so how much energy they exerted.

  1. What area is best for the ferrets to play in?

In conclusion, the best place for the ferrets to play is upstairs versus their playpen. They are more tired and more comfortable when returning to their cage after playing upstairs.

  1. What could Alexa and Nicholas do to improve their experimental design?

The amount of time that they play in their cage that day could also affect the results, so maybe removing their toys from their cage the days that are being monitored to ensure that they are spending their energy only while playing outside their beds.

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