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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 »
  • 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 »
  • 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 »
  • 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 »
  • 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 »
  • 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 »
  • Molecular Geometry with Balloons For some students, molecular geometry can be tricky to understand, but with this hands-on, engaging activity, it doesn’t have to be. 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 »
  • 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 »
  • 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 »
  • Ballistics: Student Investigation Sheet How do holes left by projectiles help forensic investigators? This activity asks students to calculate the angle of incidence of several perforations. View »
  • Restriction Enzyme Road Trip: Enduring Understandings in DNA Biotechnology Employing an entertaining road trip analogy, students will model restriction enzyme digestion and demonstrate their learning by modeling the separation of the resulting “DNA” fragments by gel electrophoresis. View »
  • Making a Scientific Claim: The Origin of Life Students can use this graphic organizer to construct a scientific claim about the origin of life. View »
  • Human Body: Endocrine System Review Review information about the endocrine system with this graphic organizer. View »
  • Photosynthesis Introduce students to photosynthesis in a visual way. As Elodea uses carbon dioxide from an initial solution, a change in pH occurs, causing a color change in the solution. View »
  • Ocular Dominance How does the brain process information from both eyes? This short activity introduces the senses, sensation and perception, and evolutionary differences in predator-prey relationships. 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 »
  • Calorimetry: Measuring the Energy in Foods In this investigation, students determine the calories, or heat content, of 3 different foods. View »