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Life Science

  • Let Wisconsin Fast Plants® Grow on You! What if you could provide your students with an experiment that takes up little space, can be tailored to fit the time you have available in the classroom, and meets NGSS? View »
  • Bacterial Hydrolysis of Casein In this lab, students culture two bacteria on skim milk agar. The protein casein gives milk its white color. Some bacteria secrete protease enzymes that can hydrolyze casein. When these bacteria are grown on skim milk agar a clear area develops around the colonies, indicating that casein has been hydrolyzed into its component amino acids. View »
  • Using Algae Beads as a Model for Photosynthesis Introduce students to photosynthesis with fresh water algae. By creating algae beads (made of algae and sodium alginate solution), they indirectly observe the change in concentration of oxygen in beads that are exposed to different amounts of light. View »
  • Hydroponics Using a nutrient-rich water solution and a unique, time-tested approach, you can successfully grow plants with no soil. In a hydroponic system, water does the work. Find out more about this fascinating method and the advantages that make it both appealing and effective. View »
  • Bacterial Growth on MacConkey Agar In this lab students culture three bacteria on nutrient agar and MacConkey agar and record the results. View »
  • Bacterial Hydrolysis of Lipids In this lab, students culture two species of bacteria on agar medium that contains an emulsion of plant oils and the dye, sprit blue, which forms a complex with the triglycerides of the oils and gives an opaque blue color to the agar. Colonies of bacteria that can secrete lipase, an enzyme that hydrolyzes triglycerides, develop a light area or “halo” in the surrounding medium, due to the diffusion of lipase into the medium and the resultant breakdown of the oil/spirit blue complex. View »
  • Materials Plants Need to Grow Examine the phenomenon of plant growth by designing and carrying out an experiment to show that plants need air and water to grow. For grade 5. View »
  • Bacteria: The Indole Test In this lab students perform a differential test to distinguish bacteria based on the production of indole. Bacteria are grown on media containing tryptophan and then treated with Kovac’s reagent. If they possess the enzyme tryptophanase, the bacteria can metabolize tryptophan into indole, pyruvic acid, and ammonia. View »
  • Easy Variation and Natural Selection Lessons with Wisconsin Fast Plants® Seed Disks Explore a technique that makes teaching variation and natural selection lessons with Fast Plants® easier than ever. In this activity, students examine the effects an abiotic environmental change (salinity) has on an experimental plot of Fast Plants®. Includes detailed background information and instructions. View »
  • Wisconsin Fast Plants® and Product Testing In this inquiry activity, students conduct experiments to determine if a commercial product effects the germination of Wisconsin Fast Plants® seed. In doing so they practice basic science skills including collecting and graphing data, interpreting data, and doing serial dilutions. View »
  • Investigating a Phenotype In this activity, students investigate a phenotype that is not so conspicuous, and they perform a simple chemical test to reveal the underlying basis of the phenotype. View »
  • Debunking the 4° C Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Myth Do samples need to be refrigerated immediately after PCR? No. You can leave them at room temperature overnight—and much longer! The founders of miniPCR® explore why. View »
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