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Classroom Activities

  • Estimating Populations Using Mark-Recapture Mark-recapture is one of the most common methods used by ecologists to determine population size. Engage your students with this exciting activity to get hands-on experience with the Mark-recapture method. View »
  • Determining Charge with an Electroscope Determine the polarity of materials charged with static electricity by using an electroscope. View »
  • Electricity and Magnetism Electricity and magnetism are mentioned together so often they must be related. How are they connected? How can their relationship be used to make beneficial technology? Here’s a quick lab activity that can help your students find the answers to these questions. View »
  • Plant Biodiversity Field Activity This field activity introduces students to biodiversity through the study of plants and animals in a designated area. But here’s the twist—instead of using a quadrat to designate the area of study, students use a Hula Hoop® instead. View »
  • Plate Tectonics Activity Here is a fascinating activity that will help you give your students a better understanding of Earth's structure and how it creates tectonic plate movement. View »
  • Science Notebook: An Owl Pellet Inquiry This introductory owl pellet dissection is a springboard for teaching the techniques of using a science notebook while having students engage in the scientific practices. View »
  • Simplifying Circuits In this activity, students build and test various circuits while investigating how electric circuits work. View »
  • Teaching with Ecosystem Aquariums By creating and maintaining an aquarium ecosystem in the classroom, students can understand the web of relationships that link organisms to one another, and they can develop a growing sensitivity to living things and what they need to survive. View »
  • Solar Cell Misconceptions All of your students have seen photovoltaic solar cells used in a variety of ways; however, students may have misconceptions in understanding what influences solar cell output. This activity sets the record straight and explores how ambient temperature and the angle of illumination can affect solar cell output in volts. View »
  • Volcano in the Classroom Here’s a safe, easy, and vivid interpretation of a classic activity that won’t break the budget. All you’ll need are a few common items—a beaker, sand, water, a candle, and a hot plate. View »
  • Invasion! Invasion! Engage life science students by investigating a fascinating topic: invasive species. Here’s a lesson plan outline to help you get started. Based on the KWL chart, it guides you through 4 days of invasive species activities that introduce the topic, guide research, and culminate in a research project. View »
  • The Triboelectric Series: An Introduction for Static Electricity Labs A reference for static electricity labs View »
  • Sticky-Tape Electroscope Most everyone has seen static electricity in action. Your unit on electricity probably includes 1 or 2 demos of it. Do more with your next lesson on static electricity by making it a lesson on the scientific method, using this easy, inexpensive activity. View »
  • What Makes You Shine? Your students will love making light-up name badges and sharing something special about themselves with this activity. Perfect as both an icebreaker and introduction to simple circuits, it’s one for the win. View »
  • Copying Nature’s Success: Teaching Students About Biomimetics Ready to create a model home that draws on biomimetics? In this activity, students research, design, and build structures that incorporate ideas inspired by the natural world. View »
  • A Powerful Approach to Flipped Learning What do you get when you merge the effectiveness of flipped learning with the meaningful experiences and critical thinking supported by inquiry? Engaged students, and lessons that get results. See how science teacher Brian Bennett combines the flipped learning and inquiry methods for impactful learning. View »
  • Two Quick, Easy Ways to Collect Insects for Diversity Studies Get your students outside and engaged with the world around them. In this activity, we’ll look at 2 techniques that make collecting insects in the field quick and easy. Use one or both to collect insects from microenvironments around your school and then examine diversity using Shannon’s or Simpson’s diversity index. View »
  • End the Year with an Outdoor Classroom Everything’s better in the great outdoors. Celebrate the warmer weather and engage your students during the final stretch of the school year with these fun activities. View »
  • Biology in the Movies See how you can use movies to facilitate engaging learning experiences for your students. Each suggestion includes a brief synopsis and talking points. Here’s to making your biology lessons even better than before. View »
  • Schoolyard Field Study Conduct a field study of your schoolyard with this activity. It’s an opportunity for students to apply what they’ve learned throughout the year. Students work in groups of 2 to 3 over several class periods. View »
  • Carolina Quick Tips®: Hunting for Prey In this activity, students investigate energy transfer among organisms by assembling a food chain energy pyramid and dissecting an owl pellet. Adapted from the Building Blocks of Science® unit Matter and Energy in Ecosystems. View »
  • Urban Stream Syndrome Urban streams often suffer from urban stream syndrome, which is characterized by changes in nutrient levels, hydrology, biodiversity, and other factors. In this activity, students learn how to identify streams that suffer from urban stream syndrome based on visual evidence. View »
  • Invertebrate Biodiversity and Abiotic Factors Understanding the relationships between biotic diversity and abiotic factors in an ecosystem can be a difficult task. Using soil invertebrates, students can identify both the number of species present in a soil sample and the number of individuals within a species. View »
  • Pill Bug Behavior Choices This introductory investigation into animal behavior uses pill bugs and choice chambers. Students begin with an experiment to test how pill bugs respond to humidity and can go on to design an inquiry to test another environmental factor. View »
  • Maggot Michelangelos: Using Artwork to Gain Behavioral Insight In this activity, students use house fly larvae to answer morphological and behavioral questions—all while creating unique artwork! Students create and test hypotheses, and learn about the complete metamorphosis life cycle. View »
  • Owl Pellet Food Webs: A Model of Energy and Mass Transfer Explore the phenomenon of owl pellets and construct a model food web for barn owls with this activity. Guiding question: How do energy and mass flow through a food web? View »
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