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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 »
  • 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 »
  • Photosynthesis Modeling with Pop Beads While studying photosynthesis, students can have difficulty understanding how the carbon in CO2 becomes the carbon in glucose. Use this activity to clarify the process. 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 »
  • 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 »
  • Making Algae Beads In this activity students create spheres of green algae for use in experiments that explore the metabolic processes of plants. Includes a materials list and step-by-step instructions. 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 »
  • Using Algae Beads as a Model for Photosynthesis Introduce students to photosynthesis with fresh water algae. By creating algae beads (made of algae and sodium alginate solution), they indirectly observe the change in concentration of oxygen in beads that are exposed to different amounts of light. 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 »
  • 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 »
  • 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 »
  • Hydroponic Nutrient Solution After a structured investigation of a hydroponic technology, students design an experiment to test different nutrient solutions. View »
  • Calorimetry: Measuring the Energy in Foods In this investigation, students determine the calories, or heat content, of 3 different foods. View »
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