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Ants experiment was a little buggy

Alissa Widman Neese • Apr 21, 2014 at 4:10 PM

Earlier this year, NASA and Stanford University sent ants where no insect has gone before — the depths of outer space, to the International Space Station. 

Back on Earth, students at Woodlands Intermediate School replicated ant experiments conducted in space, which I featured on the Register’s schools page this past week. Before their successes, they had to work out a few bugs.

Their biggest obstacle: An exterminator sprayed all Huron Schools buildings during spring break, killing off the entire population of experiment ants in a matter of minutes. After scrubbing the classroom and collecting dozens of new ants the following week, the experiment went off without a hitch.

Teacher Leah LaCrosse, in good spirits, joked the Huron ants who were lured to their death were perhaps a bit wimpy. About 800 others successfully made it into outer space. Those who didn’t survive in Huron should rest in peace.

After all, they sacrificed themselves in the name of science. “It was a learning experience the entire time,” LaCrosse said. “We’re going to take what we learned and share it with other classes conducting the experiment later this year.”

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