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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 »
  • Petri Dish Electrolysis Activity Introduce your students to reduction-oxidation reactions and some of the basic terms of electrochemistry (such as electrode potential, anode, and cathode) with this activity—creating electrolysis in a petri dish. 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 »
  • 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 »
  • Create Silver-Mirrored Christmas Ornaments with a Redox Reaction In this activity, you plate silver onto the interior surface of a glass vial via a redox reaction. 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 »
  • Single-replacement Silver Decorations For this single-replacement reaction, you immerse copper wire in silver nitrate. Crystals of silver metal form as the solution turns blue. View »
  • Chemoween and Other Spooky Science Treat your students to some spirited demos and hands-on activities, and celebrate Halloween as the finale to your October science explorations. 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 »
  • Imploding Soda Cans: An Inquiry Approach Your students have probably seen someone crush an empty beverage can with their bare hands, or have even crushed one themselves. But have they ever seen an open can seemingly crush itself, like magic, without the presence of a visible, physical force? 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 »
  • Mitosis Match Up: Student Activity Sheet With this activity, students identify and label pictures of plant cells in varying phases of the cell cycle. View »
  • The Lava Lamp Lab: A Guided-Inquiry Approach to Intermolecular Forces Remember that lava lamp you had? You and your students can use this lab to explore the fascinating world of intermolecular forces firsthand. View »
  • Teaching Chemistry with Manipulatives Manipulatives can help students (especially visual and tactile learners) understand abstract concepts by allowing them to “see” a chemical structure or process. We offer 2 ideas for creating manipulatives and how to use them. View »
  • Strawberry DNA Extraction Introduce students to DNA with this activity. A discussion of how this DNA extraction procedure works might also touch on the plant cell wall, the cell membrane, and DNA's lack of solubility in ethanol. Includes materials list and step-by-step instructions. View »
  • Traffic Light Reaction This demonstration is a twist on the classic blue bottle reaction, and you use it to review reaction rates. 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 »
  • ChromoSock™ Meiosis What if understanding meiosis were as easy as folding laundry? In this activity, students use special socks to model chromosome behavior during meiosis. View »
  • Evaluating a Scientific Claim: Evaluating Lemonade as a Buffer Students can use this graphic organizer to evaluate a scientific claim about adding buffers to medicines. 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 »
  • Thermochemistry: An Endothermic Reaction In this thermochemistry demonstration, students observe an extreme, spontaneous endothermic reaction between 2 solid compounds, measure changes in temperature, and make observations. View »
  • Carbon Snake In this teacher-directed demonstration of an exothermic reaction, students observe the dehydration of a carbohydrate using concentrated sulfuric acid. View »
  • A Visual Introduction to Ionic and Net Ionic Equations With this activity students explore the phenomenon of chemical precipitation and construct an atomic level model of precipitation using ionic and net ionic equations. View »
  • Elephant Toothpaste This demonstration showing the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide, catalyzed by iodide ions, provides students with visual evidence of a chemical reaction. View »
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