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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 »
  • 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 »
  • Grasshopper Dissection Explore basic insect anatomy with preserved grasshoppers. This dissection requires only dissecting scissors, and you can do it in a class period. 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 »
  • 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 »
  • 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 »
  • 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 »
  • Activities with UV Beads Ultraviolet-sensitive beads change color when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light. They are inexpensive, yet give students a way to detect the presence of UV light, which is normally invisible to humans. Here are 2 inquiry-based activities that enable students to investigate UV light using these remarkable beads. 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 »
  • 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 »
  • The Dogfish Shark—Structure and FUNction! Use this simple guide to connect form and function during your next dogfish dissection activity. View »
  • Eggsploring Enzymes Activity “Why do we need to learn this?” Answering this often-asked student question is easy when it comes to enzymes. Enzymes keep all living organisms alive! Use this enzymes activity to aid your study of digestion. 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 »
  • 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 »
  • Human Body: Endocrine System Review Review information about the endocrine system with this graphic organizer. View »
  • Human Body: Identifying Endocrine Tissues In this activity, students identify 6 of the major glands and organs of the endocrine system. View »
  • Human Body: Digestive System Review Identify the locations, enzymes, and functions of organs in the digestive system with this graphic organizer. View »
  • Digestion Activity: Pathway and Enzymes Explore the intricacies of digestion and the roles of enzymes with this fill-in-the-blank activity. Includes an answer key. 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 »
  • Comparative Metamorphosis In this investigation, students observe development of 3 different insects from the larva or nymph stage through the adult stage. They also complete a comparative development study of metamorphosis, observing complete and incomplete metamorphosis. 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 »
  • Sense of Smell and Olfactory Fatigue In this introductory activity, students use fragrant oils to determine the time of olfactory fatigue for both of their nostrils and examine the link between smell and memories. View »
  • Human Body: Urinary System Review Review urinary system structure and function with this graphic organizer. View »
  • Developing and Analyzing Urine Samples as a Model of Kidney Function In this activity, students gain an understanding of urine composition by developing and testing models of urine samples. Includes teacher and student guides. View »
  • Reaction Time and Practice Introduce students to reflexes and reactions, the nervous system, or learning theory with this engaging activity. 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 »
  • Frog Dissection Looking for an introductory frog dissection activity? This one requires only dissecting scissors, and you can complete it in 1–2 class periods. View »
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