Elementary Science for Remote Learning

High-quality elementary science resources for distance learning from AstroEdu, MIT Blossoms, NGSS@NSTA, Phet Interactives, and TeachEngineering. You can refine the collections by selecting different fields, such as material types, on the left side of the page, under Filter Resources.

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20/20 Vision
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In this activity, students determine their own eyesight and calculate what a good average eyesight value for the class would be. Students learn about technologies to enhance eyesight and how engineers play an important role in the development of these technologies.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Denali Lander
Janet Yowell
Joe Freidrichsen
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
09/26/2008
3RC (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Compost)
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In this lesson, students expand their understanding of solid waste management to include the idea of 3RC (reduce, reuse, recycle and compost). They will look at the effects of packaging decisions (reducing) and learn about engineering advancements in packaging materials and solid waste management. Also, they will observe biodegradation in a model landfill (composting).

Subject:
Engineering
Ecology
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Amy Kolenbrander
Janet Yowell
Jessica Todd
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
09/18/2014
About Accuracy and Approximation
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Students learn about the concepts of accuracy and approximation as they pertain to robotics, gain insight into experimental accuracy, and learn how and when to estimate values that they measure. Students also explore sources of error stemming from the robot setup and rounding numbers.

Subject:
Engineering
Mathematics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Ronald Poveda
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Acid Attack
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In this activity, students explore the effect of chemical erosion on statues and monuments. They use chalk to see what happens when limestone is placed in liquids with different pH values. They also learn several things that engineers are doing to reduce the effects of acid rain.

Subject:
Engineering
Chemistry
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Janet Yowell
Jessica Todd
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Melissa Straten
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Acid Rain Effects
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Students conduct a simple experiment to model and explore the harmful effects of acid rain (vinegar) on living (green leaf and eggshell) and non-living (paper clip) objects.

Subject:
Engineering
Environmental Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Amy Kolenbrander
Denise Carlson
Janet Yowell
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Natalie Mach
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Acid (and Base) Rainbows
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Students are introduced to the differences between acids and bases and how to use indicators, such as pH paper and red cabbage juice, to distinguish between them.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Amy Kolenbrander
Denise Carlson
Gwendolyn Frank
Janet Yowell
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Natalie Mach
Sharon Perez
Date Added:
09/26/2008
Aerogels in Action
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Students experiment with a new material—aerogel. Aerogel is a synthetic (human-made) porous ultra-light (low-density) material, in which the liquid component of a gel is replaced with a gas. In this activity, student pairs use aerogel to simulate the environmental engineering application of cleaning up oil spills. In a simple and fun way, this activity incorporates density calculations, the material effects of surface area, and hydrophobic and hydrophilic properties.

Subject:
Chemistry
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Claudia K. Gunsch
Desiree L. Plata
Lauren K. Redfern
Osman Karatüm
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Air - Is It Really There?
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By watching and performing several simple experiments, students develop an understanding of the properties of air: it has mass, it takes up space, it can move, it exerts pressure, it can do work.

Subject:
Physical Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Amy Kolenbrander
Daria Kotys-Schwartz
Denise Carlson
Janet Yowell
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Natalie Mach
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Air Pollution
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Students are introduced to the concept of air quality by investigating the composition, properties, atmospheric layers and everyday importance of air. They explore the sources and effects of visible and invisible air pollution. By learning some fundamental meteorology concepts (air pressure, barometers, prediction, convection currents, temperature inversions), students learn the impact of weather on air pollution control and prevention. Looking at models and maps, they explore the consequences of pollutant transport via weather and water cycles. Students are introduced to acids, bases and pH, and the environmental problem of acid rain, including how engineers address this type of pollution. Using simple models, they study the greenhouse effect, the impact of increased greenhouse gases on the planet's protective ozone layer and the global warming theory. Students explore the causes and effects of the Earth's ozone holes through an interactive simulation. Students identify the types and sources of indoor air pollutants in their school and home, evaluating actions that can be taken to reduce and prevent poor indoor air quality. By building and observing a few simple models of pollutant recovery methods, students explore the modern industrial technologies designed by engineers to clean up and prevent air pollution.

Subject:
Engineering
Atmospheric Science
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Air Pressure
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Air pressure is pushing on us all the time although we do not usually notice it. In this activity, students learn about the units of pressure and get a sense of just how much air pressure is pushing on them.

Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Alex Conner
Geoffrey Hill
Janet Yowell
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Tom Rutkowski
Date Added:
10/14/2015
The Air We Breathe
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Students learn what causes air pollution and how to investigate the different pollutants that exist, such as toxic gases and particulate matter. They investigate the technologies developed by engineers to reduce air pollution.

Subject:
Engineering
Environmental Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Janet Yowell
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Melissa Straten
Date Added:
09/18/2014
All About Water!
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Students learn about the differences between types of water (surface and ground), as well as the differences between streams, rivers and lakes. Then, they learn about dissolved organic matter (DOM), and the role it plays in identifying drinking water sources. Finally, students are introduced to conventional drinking water treatment processes.

Subject:
Engineering
Hydrology
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Jessica Ebert
Marissa H. Forbes
Date Added:
09/18/2014
All Caught Up
Conditions of Use:
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Commercial fishing nets often trap "unprofitable" animals in the process of catching target species. In this activity, students experience the difficulty that fishermen experience while trying to isolate a target species when a variety of sea animals are found in the area of interest. Then the class discusses the large magnitude of this problem. Students practice data acquisition and analysis skills by collecting data and processing it to deduce trends on target species distribution. They conclude by discussing how bycatch impacts their lives and whether or not it is an important environmental issue that needs attention. As an extension, students use their creativity and innovative skills to design nets or other methods, theoretically and/or through hands-on prototyping, that fisherman could use to help avoid bycatch.

Subject:
Engineering
Ecology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Amy Whitt
Matt Nusnbaum
Vicki Thayer
Date Added:
10/14/2015
All Caught Up: Bycatching and Design
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Bycatch, the unintended capture of animals in commercial fishing gear, is a hot topic in marine conservation today. The surprisingly high level of bycatch about 25% of the entire global catch is responsible for the decline of hundreds of thousands of dolphins, whales, porpoises, seabirds and sea turtles each year. Through this curricular unit, students analyze the significance of bycatch in the global ecosystem and propose solutions to help reduce bycatch. They become familiar with current attempts to reduce the fishing mortality of these animals. Through the associated activities, the challenges faced today are reinforced and students are stimulated to brainstorm about possible engineering designs or policy changes that could reduce the magnitude of bycatch.

Subject:
Engineering
Ecology
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Amy Whitt
Matt Nusnbaum
Vicki Thayer
Date Added:
10/14/2015
All Fat Is Not Created Equally!
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Students learn that fats found in the foods we eat are not all the same; they discover that physical properties of materials are related to their chemical structures. Provided with several samples of commonly used fats with different chemical properties (olive oil, vegetable oil, shortening, animal fat and butter), student groups build and use simple LEGO MINDSTORMS(TM) NXT robots with temperature and light sensors to determine the melting points of the fat samples. Because of their different chemical structures, these fats exhibit different physical properties, such as melting point and color. This activity uses the fact that fats are opaque when solid and translucent when liquid to determine the melting point of each sample upon being heated. Students heat the samples, and use the robot to determine when samples are melted. They analyze plots of their collected data to compare melting points of the oil samples to look for trends. Discrepancies are correlated to differences in the chemical structure and composition of the fats.

Subject:
Engineering
Nutrition
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Jasmin Hume
Date Added:
09/18/2014
The Amazing Aerogel
Conditions of Use:
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Aerogel, commonly called "frozen smoke," is a super-material with some amazing properties. In this lesson and its associated activity, students learn about this silicon-based solid with a sponge-like structure. Students also learn about density and how aerogel is 99.8% air by volume, making it the lightest solid known to humans! Further, students learn about basic heat transfer and how aerogel is a great thermal insulator, having 39 times more insulation than the best fiberglass insulation. Students also learn about the wide array of aerogel applications.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Claudia K. Gunsch
Desiree L. Plata
Lauren K. Redfern
Osman Karatüm
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Anchors Away
Conditions of Use:
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In this activity, students discover the relationship between an object's mass and the amount of space it takes up (its volume). Students learn about the concept of displacement and how an object can float if it displaces enough water, and the concept of density and its relationship to mass and volume.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Android Acceleration Application
Conditions of Use:
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In the first of two sequential lessons, students create mobile apps that collect data from an Android device's accelerometer and then store that data to a database. This lesson provides practice with MIT's App Inventor software and culminates with students writing their own apps for measuring acceleration. In the second lesson, students are given an app for an Android device, which measures acceleration. They investigate acceleration by collecting acceleration vs. time data using the accelerometer of a sliding Android device. Then they use the data to create velocity vs. time graphs and approximate the maximum velocity of the device.

Subject:
Computer Science
Engineering
Material Type:
Full Course
Unit of Study
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Brian Sandall
Scott Burns
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Animals and Engineering
Conditions of Use:
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Students are introduced to the classification of animals and animal interactions. Students also learn why engineers need to know about animals and how they use that knowledge to design technologies that help other animals and/or humans. This lesson is part of a series of six lessons in which students use their growing understanding of various environments and the engineering design process, to design and create their own model biodome ecosystems.

Subject:
Engineering
Ecology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Denise Carlson
Katherine Beggs
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Aqua-Thrusters!
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In this activity, students construct their own rocket-powered boat called an "aqua-thruster." These aqua-thrusters will be made from a film canister and will use carbon dioxide gas produced from a chemical reaction between an antacid tablet and water to propel it. Students observe the effect that surface area of this simulated solid rocket fuel has on thrust.

Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Brian Argrow
Janet Yowell
Jay Shah
Jeff White
Luke Simmons
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Architects and Engineers
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Students explore the interface between architecture and engineering. In the associated hands-on activity, students act as both architects and engineers by designing and building a small parking garage.

Subject:
Architecture and Design
Engineering
Education
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Abigail Watrous
Denali Lander
Janet Yowell
Katherine Beggs
Melissa Straten
Sara Stemler
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Arctic Animal Robot
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Students create four-legged walking robots and measure how far they travel across different types of surfaces. They design and create "shoes" to add to the robots' feet and observe the effect of their modifications on the net distance traveled across the various surface types. This activity illustrates how the specialized locomotive features of different species help them to survive or thrive in their habitat environments. The activity is best as an enrichment tool that follows a lesson that introduces the concept of biological adaptation to students.

Subject:
Engineering
Electronic Technology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Andrew Cave
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Are Dams Forever?
Conditions of Use:
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Students learn that dams do not last forever. Similar to other human-made structures, such as roads and bridges, dams require regular maintenance and have a finite lifespan. Many dams built during the 1930-70s, an era of intensive dam construction, have an expected life of 50-100 years. Due to inadequate maintenance and/or for environmental reasons, some of these dams will fail or be removed in the next 50 years. The engineers with Splash Engineering have an ethical obligation to remind Thirsty County of the maintenance and lifespan concerns associated with its dam.

Subject:
Engineering
Hydrology
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Denali Lander
Denise W. Carlson
Jeff Lyng
Kristin Field
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Are We Alone?
Conditions of Use:
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The year is 2032 and your class has successfully achieved a manned mission to Mars! After several explorations of the Red Planet, one question is still being debated: "Is there life on Mars?" The class is challenged with the task of establishing criteria to help look for signs of life. Student explorers conduct a scientific experiment in which they evaluate three "Martian" soil samples and determine if any contain life.

Subject:
Engineering
Astronomy
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Chris Yakacki
Daria Kotys-Schwartz
Geoffrey Hill
Janet Yowell
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Are We Like Robots?
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This lesson explores the similarities between how a human being moves/walks and how a robot moves. This allows students to see the human body as a system, i.e., from the perspective of an engineer. It shows how movement results from (i) decision making, i.e., deciding to walk and move, and (ii) implementing the decision by conveying the decision to the muscle (human) or motor (robot).

Subject:
Architecture and Design
Engineering
Material Type:
Lecture Notes
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Ajay Nair
Satish Nair
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Are You In Control?
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This lesson teaches the engineering method for testing wherein one variable is changed while the others are held constant. Students compare the performance of a single paper airplane design while changing the shape, size and position of flaps on the airplane. Students also learn about control surfaces on the tail and wings of an airplane.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Alex Conner
Geoffrey Hill
Janet Yowell
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Tom Rutkowski
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Area Builder
Conditions of Use:
No Strings Attached
Rating

Create your own shapes using colorful blocks and explore the relationship between perimeter and area. Compare the area and perimeter of two shapes side-by-side. Challenge yourself in the game screen to build shapes or find the area of funky figures. Try to collect lots of stars!

Subject:
Mathematics
Material Type:
Simulation
Provider:
University of Colorado Boulder
Provider Set:
PhET Interactive Simulations
Author:
Amanda McGarry
Ariel Paul
Beth Stade
Bryce Gruneich
John Blanco
Karina Hensberry (lead)
Kathy Perkins
Date Added:
01/08/2018
Arithmetic
Conditions of Use:
No Strings Attached
Rating

Remember your multiplication tables? ... me neither. Brush up on your multiplication, division, and factoring skills with this exciting game. No calculators allowed! The students will be given mutiplication and division problems which they must answer. They also have the option of being given a number then stating the factors of how that number was attained using either multiplication or division.

Subject:
Mathematics
Numbers and Operations
Material Type:
Simulation
Provider:
University of Colorado Boulder
Provider Set:
PhET Interactive Simulations
Date Added:
05/01/2006
Arithmetic (AR)
Conditions of Use:
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Rating

Remember your multiplication tables? ... me neither. Brush up on your multiplication, division, and factoring skills with this exciting game. No calculators allowed!

Subject:
Mathematics
Material Type:
Simulation
Provider:
University of Colorado Boulder
Provider Set:
PhET Interactive Simulations
Author:
Michael Dubson
Trish Loeblein
Date Added:
05/02/2010
Arithmetic Workout
Conditions of Use:
No Strings Attached
Rating

Brush up on your multiplication, division, and factoring skills with this interactive multiplication chart. Three levels and timed or untimed options are available.

Subject:
Mathematics
Material Type:
Simulation
Provider:
University of Colorado Boulder
Provider Set:
PhET Interactive Simulations
Author:
Michael Dubson
Date Added:
11/05/2011
The Artificial Bicep
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Students learn more about how muscles work and how biomedical engineers can help keep the muscular system healthy. Following the engineering design process, they create their own biomedical device to aid in the recovery of a strained bicep. They discover the importance of rest to muscle recovery and that muscles (just like engineers!) work together to achieve a common goal.

Subject:
Engineering
Health, Medicine and Nursing
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Denise W. Carlson
Jaime Morales
Jonathan MacNeil
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Assessing the Situation
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Finding themselves in the middle of the Amazon rainforest after a plane crash, students use map scales, keys, and longitude and latitude coordinates to figure out where they are. Then they work in groups to generate ideas and make plans. They decide where they should go to be rescued, the distance to that location, the route to take, and make calculations to estimate walking travel time.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Date Added:
09/18/2014
AstroPoetry Writing
Conditions of Use:
No Strings Attached
Rating

An activity combining language and science to encourage students to think about the night sky to help them write a poem related to astronomy.

Subject:
English Language Arts
Physical Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
International Astronomical Union
Provider Set:
astroEDU
Author:
Christie McMonigal, Astronomers Without Borders
Date Added:
02/02/2016
Astronomy Snakes & Ladders Game
Rating

The classic snakes and ladders game is replaced by rockets and comets in this astronomy themed version. The game is challenging and interactive way to learn various astronomical topics while moving your way to the winning square as space travellers.

Subject:
Astronomy
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Game
Provider:
International Astronomical Union
Provider Set:
astroEDU
Author:
Avivah Yamani
Date Added:
04/04/2014
Attack of the Raging River
Conditions of Use:
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Rating

In this lesson, the students will discover the relationship between an object's mass and the amount of space it takes up (its volume). The students will also learn about the concepts of displacement and density.

Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Date Added:
09/18/2014
At the Doctor's
Conditions of Use:
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Rating

In this simulation of a doctor's office, students play the roles of physician, nurse, patients, and time-keeper, with the objective to improve the patient waiting time. They collect and graph data as part of their analysis. This serves as a hands-on example of using engineering principles and engineering design approaches (such as models and simulations) to research, analyze, test and improve processes.

Subject:
Engineering
Education
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Courtney Feliciani Patricio Rocha
Dayna Martinez
Tapas K. Das
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Audio Engineers: Sound Weavers
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Rating

In this lesson, students are introduced to audio engineers. They discover in what type of an environment audio engineers work and exactly what they do on a day-to-day basis. Students come to realize that audio engineers help produce their favorite music and movies.

Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Janet Yowell
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Michael Bendewald
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Bacteria Are Everywhere!
Conditions of Use:
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Rating

Students are introduced to the concept of engineering biological organisms and studying their growth to be able to identify periods of fast and slow growth. They learn that bacteria are found everywhere, including on the surfaces of our hands. Student groups study three different conditions under which bacteria are found and compare the growth of the individual bacteria from each source. In addition to monitoring the quantity of bacteria from differ conditions, they record the growth of bacteria over time, which is an excellent tool to study binary fission and the reproduction of unicellular organisms.

Subject:
Engineering
Life Science
Biology
Chemistry
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Janet Yowell
Jasmin Hume
Date Added:
09/18/2014