Labs & Activities

Abuse-a-Cyst- University of Utah

Brine shrimp populations survive in some of the harshest environments. Subject brine shrimp cysts to extreme conditions then try to hatch them to see just how tough they are! Downloads Abuse a Cyst Lab (University of Utah)

Acid Rain Lab- Katherine Betrus Derrico

Students will design and conduct an experiment to test the effect of acid rain on the germination of seeds. They will utilize the data from their experiment to explain their conclusions, and also read a passage on acid rain. Downloads Acid Rain Lab Rubric (Katherine Betrus Derrico) Acid Rain Lab… read more

Battle-jar Galactica- Matt Downing

In this investigation students will study the types of bacteria that grow during the formation of sauerkraut, identify some characteristics of each, as well as research the type of respiratory pathway used by the organisms to break down the cabbage to get their energy. Downloads pH Questions (Matt Downing) Bacteria… read more

Biomagnification Lab- Todd Shuskey

This lab demonstrates how contaminants can accumulate in organisms within a food web by using paper cutouts and M&M®s candies to simulate fish, osprey, and DDT. Students can see how the contamination levels increase as the trophic level increases. Downloads Biomagnification Lab (Todd Shuskey) Biomag Lab Pics (Todd Shuskey) Biomag… read more

Bottle Ecosystem- Tim Downs

The objective of this lab is to put together a suitable habitat (ecosystem) that will allow one or two guppies to survive to the end of the school year and beyond. Students will make observations of their ecosystems for the three weeks. The ecosystem in this experiment will be closed,… read more

Edible Earth Parfaits- Groundwater Foundation

This activity uses soda, ice cream, sprinkles, colored sugars, and food coloring to represent the layers of Earth and aquifers under the surface. Students are instructed to “drill a well” with a straw and “pump the well” by sucking on the straw, as they watch the decline in the water… read more

Food Chain Game- Delta Education

In this activity, students investigate food chains by assuming the roles of animals that are part of a food chain. Downloads  

Lichens on Tree Trunks- Scott LaGreca

Students will learn to recognize moss and lichens, identify various trees, record observations using a mapping technique, use a compass, and think about the conditions mosses and lichens need to grow. They will identify and mark trees with mosses and lichens growing on their trunks, and try to figure out… read more

Mark-Recapture- Nancy Wright

This lab presents a popular method often used to estimate the population size of a single species of highly mobile animals, such as insects or vertebrates. Students use other students in the school as their population and the Lincoln-Peterson method to determine population size. “Real ecologists” also use this method… read more

Medical Importance of Biodiversity- Mary Keymel

Students assume the role of an ethnobotanist for a start-up pharmaceutical company, who is about to journey to the rainforest, coral reef, or another natural source of medicine in the world. Their mission is to catalog 1 plant or animal species that may be useful to medical research. They will… read more

Oh Deer- Project WILD

Students simulate a deer population and its “limiting factors” of water, food, and shelter, which are represented by strips of colored paper. “Deer” who are unable to find a match for their limiting factor do not survive the round, and instead becoming limiting factors. The data is collected and graphed,… read more

Oil Spills Lab- Kristen Pizarro

This activity, used as a 7th grade science laboratory final exam, comes in three sections. Students will first model an oil spill and test materials for cleaning it up. This experiment will help them understand why it is such a difficult task. Next they will examine data about the effects… read more

Predator-Prey Population Oscillation- Bridget Henshaw

This activity introduces students to the oscillating relationship between predator and prey population sizes. Students manipulate small “creatures” (anything from gummy worms to animal crackers to plastic animals) with differing numbers of predators/prey and calculate population changes between rounds of predation. Data is graphed in Excel at the end. Downloads… read more

Primary Productivity Lab- modified by Sean McGlynn

Students will use LaMotte Test Kits to determine the concentration of dissolved oxygen (DO) in various water samples. The process involves adding some chemicals to the water to “fix” the free oxygen (O2). Once the O2 is fixed, they will add an acid powder, some starch, and titrate to determine… read more

Radish Seed Lab- Chris Courtsunis

This laboratory activity will test the effects of various household chemicals on the germination and growth of radish seeds in the lab. Downloads Radish Seed Lab (Chris Courtsunis) Radish Seed Lab Rubrics (Chris Courtsunis)

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