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

Bouquet of Flowers

This series of four different lab activities all relate to flower reproduction. They have been designed to relate to each other and to stand alone. Name that Pollinator focuses on adaptations for successful pollination. Both pollen and pollen vectors are examined. Observing, data gathering, making measurements through the microscope, and… read more

Comparative Skulls

What can a skull tell you? A lot! If you look at a skull for clues about its origin, not only can you identify what species it might be from, but you can learn many details about the original animal. In this lab, students will determine what clues to analyze in… read more

Comparing Aquatic Communities

Teams of students measure physical and chemical characteristics of different sites in streams and/or ponds and collect benthic invertebrate organisms. They interpret patterns in the structure of the biological community at each site in light of the abiotic (physical  and chemical) and biotic nature of the environment. Downloads Comparing Aquatic… 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  

Goldenrod Galls

This investigation examines natural selection and coevolution using goldenrod (Solidago canadensis), its stem gall insect (Eurosta solidaginis), and associated parasites, parasitoids, and predators that feed upon the stem gall insect (i.e., Eurytoma obtusiventris, Eurytoma gigantea, Mordellistena unicolor, and birds). Through measurements of gall size and an investigation of events occurring… read more

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

Mollusk Dichotomous Key

In this lab, students will be introduced to the concept of a dichotomous key through the use of preliminary activities modeled by the teacher. They will then learn about the ecology and biology of selected marine mollusks, before putting their dichotomous key reading skills to the test on 8 or… read more

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