This instructable will show you how to make a simple, manual Skinner box for rats. This was created for an AP Bio experiment.
Step 1: Supplies
- Cardboard box with a lid (this one is 33x11x25 cm)
- Xacto blade
- Hard plastic the same dimensions as the box lid (we used Optix brand)
- Safety pin
- 16 gauge wire (2 times the width of the box plus 10 cm)
- Small bell
- Plastic jug with a hollow handle (we used a cat litter jug)
- Clear scotch tape
- Hot glue + hot glue gun
- Double-sided poster tape
- Framing square (useful but not necessary; a ruler is adequate)
- Handheld saw
Step 2: Cutting the Window
Use the ruler or carpenter's square to mark off an inch (2.54 cm) on the lid from the edge. Use the Xacto blade to cut out the inside. You will end up with something like this.
Step 3: Covering the Window
Place double-sided tape all around the window on the TOP of the lid. Don't do this on the inside, it will make closing the box securely more difficult. Peel the paper off of the tape and secure the plastic sheet onto the lid. You will end up with something like this.
Step 4: Making the Feeding Tube
Use the saw to cut the handle off of the jug, as shown in the first image. Cut off one of the curved ends (this is not shown). Use the Xacto blade to trim off any hanging plastic bits that the rats may try to chew on.
Step 5: Attaching the Feeding Tube
On one of the short sides of the box (see intro image), trace the opening of the food tube and cut it out using the Xacto blade. Secure tube into place using clear tape. Hot glue to secure (only use hot glue on the OUTSIDE of the box. Rats like to chew on everything.)
Step 6: Attaching the Bell
Use the safety pin to poke two adjacent holes in the center of the "top" of the box (see intro image). String the bell onto the wire and twist the wire until there's about 5 cm left at the ends. Feed the ends through the holes and twist them together. Tape town to secure.