Science KS2: How to build a mini ant nest

The young scientists create their own small ant colony using plastic cups, before being shown how to make and use a pooter to collect the ants.

Meanwhile, the ants from Trinidad are being monitored as they explore their new man-made home.

Entomologist Dr George McGavin uses a ramp to bridge the colony to the foraging area where food is available.

At first, a few ants venture across the ramp and then gradually the ants swarm across the bridge.

In the wild, ants will forage for over 100 metres.

The young scientists use a piece of wood as a bridge between their small colony and some honeyed water, and soon find their ants crossing over to the food source.

This clip is from the series Life on Planet Ant.

Teacher Notes

Students could follow the example and create their own ant colony using plastic cups, soil and pieces of wood.

In order to collect ants for their colony the students could also make a simple pouter using a transparent plastic jar, plastic tubing and gauze or net fabric.

Once they have set up their colony they could carry out observations, keep a diary or notes recording what they see, and compare the behaviour of their colony of ants with the colony in the clip, noting similarities and differences between the two.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching Science/Biology at KS2 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and 2nd Level in Scotland.

More from Life on Planet Ant

Inside an ant colony
How ants communicate
Why are ants different sizes?
Life cycle of an ant
What ants eat and what eats ants