Lab Scientists

Experience the detective and investigative work undertaken by zoologists in the laboratory.

Animal scat and droppings provide important data to scientists as they try to understand animal feeding habits. In his career as a zoologist, Donald has picked up and analysed many types of animal poo from seals in the Sub-Antarctic and all over Scotland to wolves in the Canadian Rockies.

Using his vast experience of being involved in diet analysis research of various species, Donald has designed a workshop to allow your learners to experience the detective and investigative work zoologists undertake in the laboratory. Mock samples are used to create real life, science work experience for your learners.

Workshop overview

Pupils will get their own samples of pretend scat/droppings from a mystery animal which they will try to identify through their research. We will apply real lab techniques to analyse the samples to find and identify the real bones contained inside each one. As learners start to identify the prey, they should start to develop an idea of the mystery animal’s habitat and feeding behaviour. Their goal in the task is to understand the nature of the food web, identify the prey and predator animal and to gain an idea of what it is to work in a zoological laboratory. As required in any laboratory, every pupil will get to wear a lab coat, lab glasses and gloves and will use water, sieves and tweezers to carry out their analytical research.

Activities include

  • Learn all about food webs, and how scientists study them in detail.
  • Learn about laboratory techniques, and get chance to dress up as scientists
  • Learn about identifying species from their skeletons
  • Learn about map location using world system of GPS (Global Positioning System

What the pupils say

"It was interesting when we got to dissolve the poo!!"
"I liked the experiment with the bones and joining them up. It was reeeeealy fun!!"

What the teachers say

"It was great that Donald was able to link the experiment to the work he had been involved in all around the world"
"Was great that the class had to discover for themselves what animals the bones had come and hence what animal had predated them"