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Life Science

  • Introduction to Sterile Technique In this lab, students practice transfer of a bacterial culture using sterile technique. View »
  • Seed Germination In this inquiry activity students in grades 5-10 design and conduct an experiment to investigate factors that may affect seed germination. View »
  • Meet the 12-Spotted Lady Beetle Explore the fascinating life cycle of the lady beetle with the help of this infographic. View »
  • Hydroponics Using a nutrient-rich water solution and a unique, time-tested approach, you can successfully grow plants with no soil. In a hydroponic system, water does the work. Find out more about this fascinating method and the advantages that make it both appealing and effective. View »
  • An Inquiry into Seed Germination This NGSS-aligned activity is a student inquiry into factors that affect seed germination.Use it as an introduction for plant studies in biology or as an environmental impact investigation in earth science, environmental science, or agricultural science. View »
  • Getting a Handle on Variation of Traits This article is designed to help students and teachers think about the nature of various determinants underlying biological variation. View »
  • Bacterial Growth on MacConkey Agar In this lab students culture three bacteria on nutrient agar and MacConkey agar and record the results. View »
  • Investigating Hatching of Brine Shrimp Eggs In this lab students study the hatching of brine shrimp eggs and design an experiment to see what factors influence hatching. View »
  • Basic Mold Showplate Set This introduction to fungi focuses on the production of asexual spores by three fungi: Aspergillus, Penicillium, and Rhizopus. View »
  • Bacterial Hydrolysis of Casein In this lab, students culture two bacteria on skim milk agar. The protein casein gives milk its white color. Some bacteria secrete protease enzymes that can hydrolyze casein. When these bacteria are grown on skim milk agar a clear area develops around the colonies, indicating that casein has been hydrolyzed into its component amino acids. View »
  • Bacterial Hydrolysis of Starch In this lab, students culture two bacteria on potato dextrose agar, which contains starch. When grown on potato dextrose agar, bacteria that can secrete amylase—an enzyme that hydrolyzes starch—create a zone around their colonies in which starch is absent. When the agar is flooded with iodine solution, most of the plate stains dark blue–black, but clear areas are left around colonies that secrete amylase. View »
  • Bacteria: The Indole Test In this lab students perform a differential test to distinguish bacteria based on the production of indole. Bacteria are grown on media containing tryptophan and then treated with Kovac’s reagent. If they possess the enzyme tryptophanase, the bacteria can metabolize tryptophan into indole, pyruvic acid, and ammonia. View »
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