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Classroom Activities

  • Determining Charge with an Electroscope Determine the polarity of materials charged with static electricity by using an electroscope. View »
  • Vinegar Eels In this lab, students observe vinegar eels. View »
  • Introduction to Planaria In this lab, students examine the anatomy and behavior of the planarian, a simple animal with bilateral symmetry. View »
  • Pill Bug Behavior This activity is an introduction to animal behavior. Students conduct an experiment to test the response of pill bugs (Armadillidium vulgare) to conditions of low and high humidity. View »
  • Lumbriculus: Contraction Rate of the Dorsal Blood Vessel In this introductory physiology lab, students determine the contraction rate of the dorsal blood vessel of the blackworm Lumbriculus. Students then design and conduct an experiment to determine the effect of temperature change or chemical exposure on the contraction rate. View »
  • Introduction to Prokaryotes: Cyanobacteria In this lab students observe two examples of cyanobacteria and make a simple comparison to a eukaryotic green alga. View »
  • Introduction to Hydra This lab introduces students to Phylum Cnidaria. The activity also serves as an introduction to animals. View »
  • Introduction to Invertebrates In this lab, students study representatives of several invertebrate groups. View »
  • Daphnia Heart Rate In this introductory physiology lab, students determine the heart rate of Daphnia magna and then test the effect of changing temperature on the heart rate. 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 »
  • Periodic Table Mystery P is less dense than S. S is an alkali metal. E is a noble gas. In this activity, students generate a periodic table from clues and predict the missing properties of several elements based on the elements’ locations in the table. 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 »
  • Use Guided Inquiry to Explore Your Schoolyard on Earth Day Celebrate Earth Day with an engaging activity that gets your students outside and uses the 5E process of engage, explore, explain, extend, and evaluate. View »
  • Introduction to Protista: Amoeba What characteristics do protists share with animals? In this lab students observe Amoeba proteus to find out. View »
  • Introduction to Protista: Euglena Euglena was once studied as a simple animal by zoologists and as a simple plant by botanists. How does this protist combine some characteristics of animals with the plant-like ability to photosynthesize? View »
  • Introduction to Protista: Paramecium Complexity in a single cell. In this lab students observe Paramecium as an example of a complex ciliated protist. 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 »
  • Air Pollution: Tropospheric Ozone, Particulates, and Indoor Carbon Dioxide "Bad" ozone, dangerous particulates, and significant CO2 buildup—in and around your school! Access a series of field tests students can use to measure your school’s tropospheric ozone levels and the number of deposited particulates in different locations, and to study how carbon dioxide concentrations indoors vary throughout the school day. 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 »
  • Infographic - Rock Candy for Rookies: A Beginner’s Guide to the Sweet Stuff Science can be as sweet as candy. Take a fun approach to studying solutions and dissolution by growing your own rock candy. Chemistry never tasted so good. View »
  • More Paper Clip Chemistry Who knew the common paper clip could be such a versatile teaching assistant? This activity uses several paper clip styles to help students understand empirical formulas and relative masses. 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 »
  • 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 »
  • A New Approach to Teaching Atomic Theory For chemistry teacher Siobhan Julian, teaching the history of atomic theory by lecture “was dry and tedious and boring for everyone involved.” Then she took a fresh approach—one that focuses on doing science to learn science history. View »
  • How Do We Grow? Light vs. Dark Reinforce your K–5 instruction on structure, function, matter, and energy flow in plants with an easy 5-day lesson that uses Wisconsin Fast Plants® seed disks, which require no soil or special lights. 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 »
  • Bee-ing an Engineer with Wisconsin Fast Plants® Looking for a great STEM lesson for your K-2 classroom? This fully reproducible guide will help you and your students learn about pollination, engineering, and animal and plant interactions! Includes teacher guide, students guide, and correlation to NGSS Standards. View »
  • Making Algae Beads In this activity students create spheres of green algae for use in experiments that explore the metabolic processes of plants. Includes a materials list and step-by-step instructions. View »
  • Investigating Habitat Preferences with Millipedes In this investigation, students determine millipedes’ preference for a bright or a dark environment by giving the organisms a choice between a clear chamber and a black chamber. View »
  • Which Leaf Shape Can Hold the Most Butterfly Eggs? In this elementary-level activity, students investigate the relationship between leaf shape and the number of butterfly eggs that can be laid on a leaf (grades K–5). 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 »
  • Reaction Time and Practice Introduce students to reflexes and reactions, the nervous system, or learning theory with this engaging activity. View »
  • Amazing Bugs® Beetle Races: Observation Sheet Students can record their observations of the darkling beetle on this sheet. View »
  • Amazing Bugs® Beetle Races: Performance Standards Summary Review this summary for details on how the Amazing Bugs® Beetle Races kit helps students achieve performance standards. View »
  • Amazing Bugs® Beetle Races: Pre/Post Questions Guide inquiry and assess student learning with these questions. Students answer the questions before and after the activities in the Amazing Bugs® kit. View »
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