activity page will offer:
An inquiry experience
experience in modeling the biting process
opportunity to participate in consumer science
drying correction fluid (such as the commercial product,
of dry dog food samples
of vegetable and fruit chunks (such as carrots, apples,
1- Evaluating Nuggets
the pointed end of five nails with a coat of white correction
fluid. The paint should extend from the point of the nail
to approximately 1 inch (about 2.5 cm) up the nail shaft.
Paint each of the nails with a second coat and let dry.
five different samples of dog food nuggets - each from a
on your safety goggles. Place the nugget on a table on top
of the piece of cardboard. Carefully insert one of the coated
nails into the center of a nugget.
the nugget shatters, examine the appearance of the nail.
Has it changed? If so, describe its new appearance. Note
also if no change has occurred.
this test using a different nail for each of the remaining
four brands of nugget.
and contrast the action of the nuggets. How does the coat
of correction fluid change as the nail is worked into the
pellet? Which nuggets are more likely to clean the teeth surface
during a dog's normal chewing activity? Is there a correlation
between cost of the food and its teeth-cleaning ability? Is
there a correlation between teeth cleaning ability and fiber
content of the nugget? Which nuggets would you recommend?
a 60-second television commercial for a dog nugget manufacturer
who wishes to sell a product that is superior in its teeth
scraping ability. Once you've written the script, and with
the proper permission, videotape your commercial. Have a Cannes
Canine Film Festival and show off your productions to your
2 - A Human Connection
off the five nails and cover them with a fresh coat of correction
five chunks of different food samples such as carrot, apple,
potato, pear, and celery.
each food with a new nail to uncover its ability to scrap
teeth of plaque buildup.
Compare and contrast the effects of the food samples on the
nail coating. Which types of food would be more likely to
clean the tooth surface? Is this type of plaque-scraping capability
less important in human foods? Explain.
Cavities are formed by the effects of acid on tooth material.
You can model this reaction using vinegar (an acid) and an
egg shell. Place pieces of eggshell in a container. Cover
the eggshells with a layer of vinegar. Secure the top on the
container and leave undisturbed. On the next day examine the
eggshell. How has it changed? For a more dramatic effect,
you might wish to submerge an entire egg in a larger vessel
filled with vinegar.
a primer on dog teeth with numerous links pertaining to canine
a site that instructs you how to brush your pet's teeth
New Cavity Fighters
Science News primer on the new generation of cavity fighters
activities in this guide were contributed by Michael DiSpezio,
a Massachusetts-based science writer and author of "Critical
Thinking Puzzles" and "Awesome Experiments in Light & Sound"
(Sterling Publishing Co., NY).
Academic Advisors for this Guide:
Corrine Lowen, Science Department, Wayland Public Schools,
Suzanne Panico, Science Department, Fenway High School, Boston,
Anne E. Jones, Science Department, Wayland Middle School,