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A Science Fair Project on Mice and Music

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Does Music Affect Animal Behavior? Science Fair Project Idea

Most kids have to participate in the school's Science Fair, but it can be really hard to come up with a good project idea that is original, interesting, and not too hard. Many kids do the typical erupting volcano, but you may be interested in something a little more complicated than baking soda and vinegar.

In high school, I knew that I wanted to use mice for my science fair project. I knew that it was the only way that I was going to be allowed to have mice as pets. So I hunted and searched and decided that I wanted to test the effects of caffeine on mice. My project didn't go so well; I lost (and later found) 2 of my 3 mice, which really messed up my results. Also, I didn't wait long enough to let the caffeine get into their systems before running them through the maze. Either way, I got a good grade, but that's not the point.

The point is that you want to find a good science fair project that you will be successful at.

If you want to test mice through a maze, consider testing the effects of music on mice. It's actually a great experiment that has been tested over and over again in labs. Scientists want to see the effects of different music genres on mice so that they can correlate the findings to children.

REMEMBER that if you decide to use live animals in your science fair project to ensure no harm is imposed on the animals!


  • Mice (depending on the number of music genres you want to test, that's how many mice you should get plus one)
  • Music (1 CD per genre)
  • Rodent Maze
  • Notebook (to record findings)
  • Stopwatch
Lego maze for the mice.

Lego maze for the mice.

Another maze.

Another maze.


This science fair project is a little different. First, you want to decide what music genres you want to test. The more logical genres include country music, rap, classic rock, heavy metal, and classical music, but you can also test folk music, R&B, and soul music.

  • You're going to want to make sure that you have time for this project, as it will take over one hour per mouse. You may want to test one mouse a day, but depending on your time frame, I'd suggest multiple mice a day, at least 2 or 3.

Tip 1: Make sure that you have one full CD per music genre.

Tip 2: Always remember to keep one music genre per one mouse. You don't want to mix it up and play country for Mouse #1 on day 3, rap on day 5, and rock on day 10. It will mess up your findings. So stick with one mouse per music genre.

  • You're going to test one mouse at a time. Take mouse #1 into a separate room from the other mice. Play the CD for at least one hour (this is why you want to have a full CD).

Note: Playing the radio will not work because there are commercials and interruptions between songs. You want a full, straight-through hour of music.

  • Once the hour is up, take the mouse to the rodent maze, and start him at the beginning.
  • As soon as you release him, start the stopwatch. When the mouse has made it to the other end of the maze (you may want to have a few treats to reward him that he's reached the end), stop the stopwatch and record the times.
  • You'll want to do this with each mouse. Remember to keep one mouse as your constant mouse; this mouse won't get to listen to any music before he runs the maze.
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Your Findings

You want to make sure to take careful notes about each mouse, keeping track of which mouse is listening to which music genre.

  • Note what CD the mouse is listening to. If it's a compilation CD, what songs and artists are on the CD.
  • Compare the times between each genre. Which mouse is the fastest or slowest at the maze? Is there a correlation with the music?
  • You will want to remember that rodents, especially mice and rats, are quick learners, so you may want to change up the maze if need be.


;) on November 05, 2019:


? on March 06, 2018:


Pooker on April 05, 2012:

How do I make the hypothesis, materials, procedure, results,source, further work, display and conclusion out of this experiment? I need to do this for a science fair.. also what other questions can I ask and answer to be more orignal?

gabby vazquez on March 15, 2012:

im doing this or my science fair but i need to add the problem, background info, hypothesis, materials, procedure, data/results/observations, and a conclusion. how can i add all that in this kind of project.?

Allieee on January 12, 2012:

what do u suggest to make a maze out of

logan on January 03, 2012:

this was really helpful and i would just like to say thank you because everything els i looked at was a bunch of crap

Desperate girl on September 15, 2011:

Plz help me convince my mom to let me have some mice.She said she would buy like 5 mice for me but after I would have to throw them on the streets. Plz help I have to turn the project approval form 2morrow all help is appreciated!

kaith on September 12, 2011:

what is the prupose of this project? Because i'm doing this for science expo.Thanks!

Alex! on August 29, 2011:

Omg this saved me! Except Im gonna also show affection to some mice in the same genre, and none to others and see if that changes anything! My science (Pre AP Bio in high school) said to make it more complex, so this is how I am going to do it. THANKS SO MUCH!!!!

C>L>H. on March 06, 2011:

Will this project work if you only have 4 mice? Or play it during the maze?, instead of putting them in a diff room and and then playing it.

kara on January 24, 2011:

what is the level of music you used as treatment?

ajxnx on November 29, 2010:

this is a awesome project i love screamo so i am gonna use that for my choice of music

abby on November 15, 2010:

how did u convince ur mom and dad to let u do it??

Shananay on October 04, 2010:

Thx I'm am sooooooo using this for my sf project coming up d;

Whitney (author) from Georgia on September 17, 2010:

It won't be the same with guinea pigs.

hana (: on September 17, 2010:

Thanks for the idea! Sounds cool! (: Can you use guiena pigs instead of mice?

Whitney (author) from Georgia on February 19, 2010:

You would need enough mice to fully test your theory. It's really not a complicated project at all. How simple are you looking for?

Mice lover on February 18, 2010:

Nice idea but is there a way to use fewer mice or a simpler project? Its kinda complicated

Elizabeth on February 10, 2010:

Thanks i decided to do the music it is going to be hard but i can do it

Whitney (author) from Georgia on February 08, 2010:

Depending on how much you're willing to put into the project, it will depend on what your project will be.

elizabeth on February 07, 2010:

please help in in 5th grade and i have a science fair soon.i don't know what to bo with mice that will get me a good grade i love the idia of the mice and music dut if there is any other project that mite be a little easyer. i will love to know please help!!!!!

Lexi Bomb on January 26, 2010:

Thanks Whitney I'm almost finished writing my report the experiment was pretty interesting! And to those of you who don't know what to do I suggest this. It makes science FUN!!!

Lexi on January 11, 2010:

Thanks Whitney,im gonna go buy the little varmin today! HaHa

Whitney (author) from Georgia on January 10, 2010:

Lexi, whatever music you want.

cdubbs, you need at least one mouse per genre. You can't use the same mouse for each genre.

cdubbs on January 10, 2010:

thanks for the advise but can i just use one mouse for the experiment instead of four or five?

Lexi*Bomb on January 10, 2010:

What types of music should i do?

Whitney (author) from Georgia on January 05, 2010:

constant. You can use multiple mice per genre, but keep those mice with the same genre throughout.

Lexi*Bomb on January 05, 2010:

why is it better to just use one mouse per genre?

Arielleee on November 21, 2009:

I'm sooo gunna do this. THIS IS AWESOME. :]

dudette on October 06, 2009:

sweet I think I'll do this for my SF that's coming up in about a month..... but I have hamsters, so I'll use them instead of mice.

ember_wuz_here on September 25, 2009:

thx sooo much! i wanted to do an experiment with mice that i would enjoy, and this is perfect!

MarBear on August 25, 2009:

it took some talkin-to for my parents to finally say yes :) so excited to be using this one :) woot woot!!

Whitney (author) from Georgia on August 18, 2009:

Mice and hamsters are completely different species. The only thing you could do is to compare the two species. You won't get a steady reading from testing both except in comparison.

I'm not sure why they had to be pregnant. If you are testing pregnancy you will need a non-pregnant mouse and a non-pregnant hamster to compare the results with the pregnant animals. Comparing the results from the pregnant mouse to the non-pregnant mouse, pregnant hamster to the non-pregnant hamster.

You won't really be able to compare the two pregnant animals together, averaging their results because they are completely different species.

Stick with the same species. It will make things much more complicated to mix species.

ACE on August 18, 2009:

I was wonering if I could use mice and hamsters cause they are like the same species and use one pregnant hamster and one pregnant mouse. Like time them with different music and do exactly what you did.

group genious on May 14, 2009:

thanks a lot our teacher for science will love this

kiara F on May 13, 2009:

OMG thank youh so much all i need to do is wait for aproval from my science teacher

wanna win09 on March 09, 2009:

thanks for the help and i hope i win with this idea

Uriel from Lebanon on March 05, 2009:

Nice..thanks for the advice... i remember in the beginning of the year when a science team wanted to discet a couple of hamsters. The funny thing is they used Chloroform, and left them in a box for the next day.The hamsters ran out of the box and ran lose in the schoool.... one was pregnant..I don't know if they caught it...if no little hamsters will be running all around the schoool cool lol...thanks again for the tips...ill take them in consideration the next time i have a SF... :D

Zowiieee on February 11, 2009:

omg thank you so much.

i have to do a science project, and i really wanted to use mice, cuz i have wanted a pet mouse for ages.

this is perfect.


Emmuh Bee. on January 30, 2009:


I have a SF coming up and I think i'll use this!


Haydee Anderson from Hermosa Beach on January 15, 2009:

interesting hub.

denion with noses on December 05, 2008:

i had a successful project and it was funny

Allieee on November 11, 2008:

this looks helpful thx

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