2.13.2015

X Marks The Spot

When Baby Ruth came home talking about the science fair she was a bit "unimpressed" with her physical science possibilities.  Her sister was hatching chicks and in comparison everything else was BORING!  I told her to try and find something in biology she could link to physical science and from that brain storming/research quest the funniest science fair project, ever, was born!  


She found a study on the effects of the earth's magnetic field and animals.  We learned that the field is at rest only about 20% of the day, but when it is, it has a large affect on our furry, feathered and scaled friends.  She started off with the effects on herds and that led to this.


Why do dogs spin in circles before doing their business?  We have all wondered that but I never thought there was a scientific reason!  I just thought they were kind of particular about their spot! Turns out they have a strong preference for the North/South direction based on the magnetic field. Like 70 % of the time they face North/South!  She found a study from a University in Germany that dedicated 2 years and 70 dogs to this experiment and their findings were conclusive that when the field is at rest the dogs will line the axis of their body with it when doing their duty! Amazing!!  

So she recruited a bunch of pups and some very sweet friends who were willing to track their dogs details for over a week and her project was born! Here are our furry friends.




Not sure if you can see the details of that graph below very good but the red and light gray are the percentages they faced north or south.  The dark gray is east and the black is west.  Not only did she learn they like N/S she learned they have a strong dislike for E/W.  Cracks me up that Gus is really thinking about where to poop when he is doing the circling trick for 45 seconds!


This was a true labor of love and couldn't have happened without some dedicated friends, who stood with a compass over their best friend, for 10 days!  So grateful for them. Our neighbors gave us some strange looks.  Crazy homeschool family!


She and her partner took 2nd place in their grade so all her hard work was worth it!  So proud of her creativity and her willingness to think outside the box, or in this case the doghouse!


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