Students practice sampling methods which can be used in the field to investigate the distribution and abundance of species populations.
Students practice calculating Simpson's Index of Diversity using playing cards as "species." Then they will use the equation and a sample set of data to calculate Simpson's Index of Diversity for a representative sample. Students can also conduct their own studies to obtain data.
Students will design and carry out a practical investigation of the effect of temperature on the activity of the enzyme lactase, when immobilised and used in a bioreactor.
Students compare water quality at different points in a stream or river. They will use freshwater invertebrates to obtain and compare biotic index scores for different sampling stations.
Students investigate how different treatments such as work-hardening, tempering, and annealing affect the mechanical properties of a number of metals.
Students explore some of the qualities of our sense of hearing and its usefulness to us. They can also begin to consider what the consequences could be of hearing impairment.
Students read and analyze a topical news article about some aspect of climate change and share their analysis with their classmates.
Students clone a plant by taking cuttings. A closer look at the cuttings a few weeks later could reveal which characteristics of each cutting depend on the genetic make-up of the plant and which are strongly affected by environmental conditions.
Students study the structures involved in pollination. Having seen the common structures and how they vary in form from species to species, students should be able to make deductions about which pollinating agents and mechanisms affect the likelihhod of cross-pollination.
Students investigate diffusion. They will set up cubes of agar jelly and see how far liquid penetrates them by diffusion over five minutes. Then they will calculate surface area to volume ratio for cubes of different sizes and consider the problems faced by large organisms.
Students extract an enzyme from biological material and investigate the action of enzyme on different substrates. They will also demonstrate that some enzymes catalyse reactions result in the syntheis of new biomolecules.
In this experiment, hydrogencarbonate indicator is used to show the concentration of carbon dioxide in the environment of aquatic animals and plants. Over a 24 hour period, students will explore which combinations of plants and animals make a stable ecosystem in light or dark conditions.
Students take samples of a range of foodstuffs and burn them under a boiling tube containing a measured amount of water. They will measure the temperature increase in the water and calculate the amount of energy needed to cause that temperature increase, indicating the amount of energy stored in the food.
Students isolate the contributions of three of the four requirements for photosynthesis in leaves. It demonstrates that chlorophyll, light, and carbon dioxide are all necessary for starch to form in leaves.
Students investigate how lipase activity changes with temperature and consider how indicators can help us to follow chemical reactions.
In this experiment, the rate of photosynthesis is measured by counting the number of bubbles rising from the cut end of a piece of Elodea or Cabomba.
Students view a series of coloured images and then record the colours of the afterimages seen by individuals. After discussing the observations, students will attempt to build a hypothesis to explain the observations as related to how the eye responds to electromagnetic waves.
Students will prepare slides in an attempt to capture cells that are in the process of mitosis. After completing their observations students will calculate the mitotic index.
Students examine the rate of oxygen production by catalase in pureed potato as the concentration of hydrogen peroxide varies. The oxygen produced in 30 seconds is collected over water. Then the rate of reaction is calculated.
Students plan and carry out a reliable scientific investigation in order to find out how different materials affect plant growth and compare methods for estimating plant growth.
Students investigate the reduction of carbon dioxide to carbohydrate. DCPIP, a blue dye, acts as a electron acceptor and becomes colorless when reduced, allowing any reducing agent produced by the chloroplasts to be detected.
Students explore the role of soil microbes in the carbon cycle and investigate how quickly different kinds of paper decompose under the action of soil microbes.
Students demonstrate how different plant materials show different amounts of catalase activity - and the most metabolically active tissues show the greatest activity. The procedure can be used to show differences in activity in imbibed and germinating seeds and in damaged or decaying plant material.
Students will culture nitrogen-fixing bacteria from root nodules of leguminous plants. This will reinforce understanding of the role of bacteria in the nitrogen cycle and explore a common example of symbiosis or mutualism.
Students use a volume of dilute hydrochloric acid that models the volume and concentration of our stomach contents. They will then add typical doses of a range of over-the-counter antacid preparations - powders, tablets and liquids and monitor the changing pH with either Universal indicator solution or a pH probe. Students will compare the effects of different preparations and discuss the short and long-term consequences of using each medicine.
Students create slides of plant cells. Under a microscope they will make observations when either distilled water or 5% sodium chloride solution is added to the cells. Osmosis will occus resulting in either turgid or plasmolysed cells.
This lesson is designed to exemplify a model-based inquiry approach to practical work. It is based around a model for human colour perception which describes colour-sensitive receptors (cones) in the retina. Students use their own ideas to make a prediction about the outcomes of an experiment to test colour vision. By gathering evidence of colour perception in the field of view, students build a model in the form of a map to help them understand what is happening on the retina. They then relate their map to the distribution of receptors (cones) in the retina, for different colours of light. They use the collected data to critique both their predicted model and the consensus model.
This lesson is designed to exemplify a model-based inquiry approach to practical work. Iron wool is placed on a simple balance and set alight. Will it gain or lose mass? Students use their own ideas (mental models) to make predictions about the outcome of the experiment. They compare their predictions with their observations, and then use the consensus model to develop an explanation. In this case the consensus model is made up of the equation for the reaction, and particle theory.
This sequence of two lessons is designed to exemplify an argumentation approach to practical work, using an analysing and interpreting data framework. Students use primary data about heart rates and breathing rates, alongside secondary data from children and adults, to assess and argue for or against the validity of claims about physical fitness. They consider whether the evidence is sufficient in itself to support the claims, particularly when the sample size is small, or whether more data
is needed. They justify their decisions through argumentation.
This lesson is designed to exemplify an argumentation approach to practical work, using a predict, observe, explain framework. When burning magnesium is placed into a gas jar of carbon dioxide it is not extinguished but burns more brightly. This is due to the relative positions of magnesium and carbon in the reactivity series. The result surprises many students who know that carbon dioxide puts out fires â€“ and is in many fire extinguishers. This lesson allows students to argue about what they think will happen in the reaction and to draw up competing theories. They then observe the reaction and write an explanation for what they have seen.
This lesson is designed to exemplify an argumentation approach to practical work, using a predict-observe-explain framework. Students often think that some materials are intrinsically warm (wood, plastic, wool) while others are intrinsically cold (metals, glass, water). This lesson challenges these ideas by presenting observations which many will find counter-intuitive. Through argumentation, students predict the outcome of an experiment, observe the result, and discuss how scientific ideas about energy transfer can explain what they see.
This lesson is designed to exemplify a model-based inquiry approach to practical work in which students make, use and evaluate models for osmosis. Osmosis is an important process which allows plants to take up water. A model can be used to help explain how this process works, and to make predictions. In this lesson students make and use a 3-D model for osmosis and evaluate the 3-D model compared to a more familiar 2-D model for osmosis.
This lesson sequence is designed to exemplify an argumentation approach to practical work, using a classification framework. In these lessons students see for themselves that it is possible to group chemicals with similar properties â€“ and that there are some chemicals which do not fit easily into a group. Students carry out a practical activity in one lesson and in the next try to group the chemicals according to the results of their investigations. At the end the students are told the four main groups that chemists use to classify chemicals and they try placing the chemicals they have been using into these groups.
This lesson sequence is designed to exemplify a model-based inquiry approach to practical work in which students evaluate collision theory and rate equations as models for explaining rates of reactions. Understanding the rates of chemical reactions is important for controlling reactions in industry. In this lesson sequence students will evaluate collision theory as a model for predicting rates of reactions. They then collect data to determine the order of the reaction of calcium carbonate and hydrochloric acid, and deduce the rate equation. They use the rate equation to make predictions.
Students investigate which materials are good absorbers of sound and which are good reflectors of sound. This lesson sequence is designed to exemplify a careers-linked approach to practical work, using careers-related information to provide a context for practical work. There are many occupations in which people work with sound. For example, environmental officers may need to measure sound levels (or noise), and concert hall designers may need to control the absorption and reflection of sound.