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Classroom Activities

  • 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 »
  • 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 »
  • 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 »
  • 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 »
  • 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 »
  • 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 »
  • Thermochemistry: An Endothermic Reaction In this thermochemistry demonstration, students observe an extreme, spontaneous endothermic reaction between 2 solid compounds, measure changes in temperature, and make observations. View »
  • Carbon Snake In this teacher-directed demonstration of an exothermic reaction, students observe the dehydration of a carbohydrate using concentrated sulfuric acid. 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 »
  • Elephant Toothpaste This demonstration showing the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide, catalyzed by iodide ions, provides students with visual evidence of a chemical reaction. View »
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