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Life Science

  • 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 »
  • Genetic Witness Utilizing forensic science to reinforce biological concepts, especially those in genetics, adds excitement and understanding back to the classroom. View »
  • Demonstrating Algal Phototaxis in Your Classroom Two demonstrations that can be done in your classroom with inexpensive materials you probably already have on hand. View »
  • How Do We Grow? Light vs. Dark Reinforce your K–5 instruction on structure, function, matter, and energy flow in plants with an easy 5-day lesson that uses Wisconsin Fast Plants® seed disks, which require no soil or special lights. View »
  • Introduction to Ascomycetes This lab introduces students to the variation found in the fungal phylum Ascomycota. Students examine four representatives: Anthracobia muelleri, Eurotium chevalieri, Schizosaccharomyces octosporus, and Sordaria fimicola. View »
  • Introduction to C-FERN® Teaching the basics of plant biology and capturing students' interest can be a daunting task. But C-Fern offers a dynamic new approach to teaching the basic aspects of plant biology. View »
  • Photosynthesis and Floating Leaf Disks Try the leaf disk assay, one of the easiest and best photosynthesis labs available. Students measure the rate of photosynthesis using leaf disks. The equipment and supplies needed are inexpensive, simple, and readily available. This activity is great for stimulating additional student projects. View »
  • Developing and Analyzing Urine Samples as a Model of Kidney Function In this activity, students gain an understanding of urine composition by developing and testing models of urine samples. Includes teacher and student guides. View »
  • Basic Mold Showplate Set This introduction to fungi focuses on the production of asexual spores by three fungi: Aspergillus, Penicillium, and Rhizopus. View »
  • Biological Altruism: Why Do Animals Help Each Other? Stories about 1 person risking life and limb to rescue another often pop up in the news media. But, does this type behavior happen in other species of animals? If so, why? View »