Shooting The Poop

(1 review)


That rustling you hear in the forest may be falling poo! Some caterpillars fling their feces far away from where they are eating leaves. Does this help protect them from predators? Students examine data from a real-world experiment, graphing and drawing conclusions.

Each Data Nugget comes with three student versions, based on the type of graphing skills required. Type A activities provide the graph for the students (allowing a focus on graph interpretation, making claims based on evidence, and explaining reasoning), Type B activities provide axis labels but requires students to graph the data, and Type C provides an unlabeled grid on which to draw a graph.

The supplemental resources for this lesson are:

We also really love this video that covers the physics of flinging your poop several hundred body lengths:

Additional information

Grade Level


NGSS STEM Practices

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Standards Present

Not Present

Media Format

Audio/Video recording, PDF Download

Creation Date


Reviews (1)

1 review for Shooting The Poop

  1. LessonHiveAdmin

    This is a very fun data-focused activity, because what student isn’t interested in throwing poop? Data Nuggets are free classroom activities, co-designed by scientists and teachers, designed to bring contemporary research and authentic data into the classroom. Data Nuggets include a connection to the scientist behind the data and the true story of their research. Each activity gives students practice working with “messy data” and interpreting quantitative information. Students are guided through the entire process of science, including identifying hypotheses and predictions, visualizing and interpreting data, making evidence based claims, and asking their own questions for future research.

    The fun video comparing the effort of throwing things body lengths between humans and caterpillars is also very entertaining, although from a different scientist.

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