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

Becoming a Plant

Students will plant seeds at various depths in the soil and make observations after seedlings emerge. Based on their observations, students will decide what measurements could be made. They will make these measurements and look for an explanation for differences in their measurements. They will write a hypothesis that describes… 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

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


This lab uses two different sizes of dialysis tubing to represent cellular and organelle membranes. Students design experiments in which they place solutions of iodine, starch, and glucose on different sides of a membrane. The movement of these materials is monitored with the use of indicator solutions. Students are given… read more

DNA Profiling

This lab was designed to complement CIBT’s DNA Gel Electrophoresis kit. Students will cut DNA with restriction enzymes. The DNA fragments will be separated electrophoretically on an agarose gel. The results will simulate a DNA profile. Students can learn how this type of evidence is prepared and interpreted. Downloads DNA Profiling Teacher… read more

Easy Stats Lab

Downloads Easy Stats Intro Activity (CIBT) Easy Stats Lab (CIBT) Easy Stats Data Table (CIBT) Easy Stats Post-Lab Questions (CIBT)


This lab involves the qualitative measurement of the changes in carbon dioxide concentration associated with respiration and photosynthesis in the freshwater plant Elodea. Bromthymol blue is used as an indicator for the presence of CO2 in solution. When CO2 dissolves in water, carbonic acid is formed. A bromthymol blue solution, acidified… read more

Evolving Trees

This exercise introduces the basic methods of phylogenetic analysis. Students are asked to hypothesize the evolutionary relationships of groups of organisms based on traits, and to become familiar with the methods for building evolutionary trees using the basic principles of taxonomy and classification. Downloads Evolving Trees (Teacher Edition) Evolving Trees… read more

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

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