Eight groups of students in the Fall 2017 Writing in Biology course at UMass Amherst will receive 3 planarians and a specific chemical with which to test planarian regeneration capabilities. Each group will bisect the planarian at one-third of its length, and place it in a cup with their chemical. Each planarian will be placed in a different concentration of chemical. This will allow for observations of degree of regeneration possible with different amounts of chemical present. The groups let the planarians regenerate for a period of fourteen days, as this is the average time it takes a planarian to regenerate (Lobo, et al).
During this period of time, the planarians will be fed a typical amount of food on a regular schedule.They will be kept in a dark environment, such as a cabinet. The groups will measure each planarian before and after they make their incision, after seven days from the incision, and again after the fourteen days to be able to judge if any regrowth has occurred. The groups will record their data on a master Excel spreadsheet, that will allow for whole-class data sharing and comparison. The eight chemicals that we will be testing are: bleach (in a mild concentration), acid (in a mild concentration), fertilizer, laundry detergent, motor oil, gasoline, herbicide, and pesticide. The data will be made into individual graphs for each chemical.