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Rat Basketball: A Slam Dunk for Education at the Science Museum of Virginia

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Rat Basketball: A Slam Dunk for Education at the Science ... II. A Rat's Life. Common beliefs about rats. Norway Rats. Rats and the Plague. Rats are Mammals ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Rat Basketball: A Slam Dunk for Education at the Science Museum of Virginia


1
Rat Basketball A Slam Dunk for Education at the
Science Museum of Virginia
Leeanna Pletcher, Gallery Educator Science Museum
of Virginia
2
GoalsPurpose Museum guests will get an
introduction to the topics of operant
conditioning and basic theories of learning by
watching two rats play a game of basketball.
Information about the natural history of rats
will also be shared.
3
Materials
  • General Materials
  • rat basketball court
  • rat cubes
  • rats and cages
  • wiffle ball
  • training platform
  • pre-counted training pellets (50 per rat per
    game)
  • paper towels
  • dilute bleach solution
  • buzzer

4
Skinner box
5
Methods
  • Socialization
  • Classical Conditioning
  • Operant Conditioning
  • Cooperation

6
Operant Conditioning
  • Operant conditioning is a method used to teach
    all kinds of animals to do specific behaviors.
  • B.F. Skinner a behavioral psychologist who
    studied the behaviors of rats. His work led to
    the theory of operant conditioning.
  • This is a type of learning in which an
    experimenter waits for the target response to be
    conditioned to occur spontaneously, immediately
    after which the organism is given a reinforcer
    reward after this procedure is repeated many
    times,
  • The treat is actually a small food pellet or what
    a behavioral psychologist would call positive
    reinforcement. Whenever the rat does something
    right, we give them a reward.
  • When we start training rats to play basketball,
    we have to break the task into steps. Then we
    train the rat to recognize they are in a reward
    situation and that a simple behavior like
    touching the ball with their nose will earn a
    reward.

7
Training
  • 15 30 minute training sessions per day
  • Broken down into training objectives
  • Must be able to repeat objective 50 times in a
    row

8
Training Objectives
  • Socialization (trust training)
  • Associate ball and food
  • Associate buzzer with food
  • Knock ball off of tee
  • Reward taken from feeding station
  • Pick up ball in teeth
  • Carry ball
  • Use platform
  • Take ball onto platform
  • Use hoop
  • Make basket without platform
  • Make basket without buzzer (solo)
  • Cooperate for 1 on 1 game

9
Data Collected
10
Demonstration
Outline Introduction II. A Rats Life Common
beliefs about rats Norway Rats Rats and the
Plague Rats are Mammals Rats used for
research Rat genome shares some of the same genes
with humans III. Why Rat Basketball? Rat
intelligence IV. How They are Trained Socailizing
Pavlov and Classical conditioning The Buzzer
Our Classical Tool V. Operant Conditioning BF
Skinner Positive Reinforcement Rat Training
Basics Step by Step Operant Conditioning VI. The
Many Theories of Learning Punishment Learning
theories are theories VII. Conclusion
11
Standards of Learning
  • Virginia S.O.L.s
  • Science K.6, 1.5, 2.5, 3.4, 3.5, 3.10, 4.5,
  • LS.4, LS.8, LS.9, LS.10, LS.11, LS.12, LS.14,
    BIO.1, BIO.9

12
Acknowledgements
The Discovery Place, Charlotte, NC as a
template Gallery Education Staff 3 full-time
staff 2 part-time SMV Volunteers 10 volunteers
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