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Classroom Activities

  • Violet Shines Blue Classic demo with a violet laser pointer may be used as a discrepant event to discuss light waves, fluorescence, or chemical quenching. View »
  • Bending Light Light travels in a straight path. Find out how get light to “bend” and follow a curved stream of water! 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 »
  • Make the Invisible Visible: Detecting IR Light with a Smart Phone When it comes to light, there’s more than meets the eye. But with a smartphone camera and a remote control, you can make the invisible visible and show your students infrared light. 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 »
  • 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 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 »
  • 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 »
  • Optics of the Human Eye A cross-curricular lesson in biology and physics allows students to make a simple model of the human eye. Students investigate how geometric optics can be applied to this complex, biological structure in order to describe how the images we see are formed when special tissues in our eye, the cornea and the lens, refract the light entering the pupil to create an image on the back wall of the eyeball (the retina), like a miniature, organic movie projector. 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 »
  • Making and Evaluating a Scientific Claim Students can use these 2 graphic organizers to make and evaluate scientific claims. View »
  • Analyzing and Evaluating Data: Engaging in Argument from Evidence Cover best practices for engaging in scientific argumentation with this resource. Includes links to relevant graphic organizers. View »
  • Carolina Quick Tips®: Hunting for Prey In this activity, students investigate energy transfer among organisms by assembling a food chain energy pyramid and dissecting an owl pellet. Adapted from the Building Blocks of Science® unit Matter and Energy in Ecosystems. View »
  • Force Awakens Magnetism is an example of a non-contact force that occurs when objects are not touching. In this activity, students investigate how magnets create a force field that can attract and repel objects. Includes a materials list and step-by-step instructions. 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 »
  • The Physics of Vision Get ready to investigate parallax and depth perception with 2 activities you can complete in less than 30 minutes. View »
  • Owl Pellet Food Webs: A Model of Energy and Mass Transfer Explore the phenomenon of owl pellets and construct a model food web for barn owls with this activity. Guiding question: How do energy and mass flow through a food web? View »
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