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Classroom Activities

  • Exploring Air Resistance Investigate the relationship between velocity and air resistance. View »
  • 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 »
  • Food Calorimetry: How to Measure Calories in Food Help your students learn how to determine the calories in food with this hands-on lab activity. Using common, inexpensive materials, students construct a calorimeter and test several food samples to determine their energy content. Addresses selected National Science Education Standards for grades 9–12. 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 »
  • 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 »
  • 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 »
  • 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 »
  • 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 »
  • 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 »
  • 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 »
  • AP® Biology: Statistics Worksheet A set of 4 problems focused on statistics and analysis. 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 »
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