Rating: Excellent

Strong Points: Detailed protocols, extensive additional resources, and beautiful website layout

Weak Points: None

www.roachlab.org

For many people, the thought of a cockroach immediately conjures feelings of disgust and repulsion, but these creepy little creatures can be unsung classroom heroes. Roach Lab, created by scientists at Florida Tech, aims to bring easy and inexpensive behavioral studies to students by using the roach as a model. The website includes several experiments that students can perform to examine cockroach behaviors ranging from probability learning to olfactory conditioning. Each experiment includes a detailed protocol and ­files for 3D printing any necessary equipment for the roaches, such as housing or food trays. In addition to the experiments, the website also includes a lengthy list of resources for learning about cockroach ecology and maintenance, as well as about the cockroach as an experimental model. Educators who have created their own experiments are encouraged to submit protocols to the website. Roach Lab is an excellent resource for educators looking for an inexpensive way to introduce their students to behavioral observation of a live organism.

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