School of Life Sciences | Ask A Biologist

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These biology experiments are designed for you to do at home or school using simple equipment. For some experiments, you may need a calculator. Here is a link to an excellent one provided by Web2.0calc.

To access experiments, click on one of the experiments listed below. In most cases, it is simplest to copy the experiment into a word processing program, and then print it out.

hummingbird perched on a cactus image

Hummingbird Lunch

By Amanda Sibley

These daredevil birds can be perfect subjects for a backyard experiment.

It’s a Plankton Eat Plankton World

By Colleen Miks

During this activity you will learn how to create your own food web. You will also analyze the feeding relationships between marine organisms and describe the importance of plankton to the ecosystem.

Germ Activity

Let the Germs Begin

By Julie Dunlap, Esmeralda Manzano, Vanessa Vierkoetter, and Satina Sund

Have you ever wondered why you get sick? The answer is germs. Germs are tiny organisms that make you feel sick and cause disease. We are exposed to millions of germs every day. During this activity you will illustrate the steps germs take during transmission. You will learn about the different types of bacteria, how they are spread, and discuss ways to keep from getting sick.

Life of the Leafcutter

By Angelina Alameda

Learn what makes leafcutter ants unique and understand how the different castes of ant work together to provide for the colony.

Manduca Caterpillar Growth Experiment

By Dr. Biology

Dr. Biology has teamed up with with the scientists in the laboratory of Jon Harrison and started an experiment to see how different temperatures can change how an animal grows. The Virtural Manduca Growth Experiment lets you see and graph the results. It also has some cool animations.

paper channel

Paper Protein

By Arizona Science Center

Build your own shape changing protein channel model from paper. To learn more, visit Venom.

Tape Measure

Scale Activity

By CJ Kazilek

It is difficult to think about tiny things we cannot see. This activity teaches you about scale by taking something we can see and imagining it magnify it several times to see the results.

Seasoned to the Tilt

By Daniel S. Brehony and Abel Torres

Have you ever thought about your favorite season, and why it looks and feels the way it does? This activity will help you see and understand why Earth has seasons, and the two things that work together to make seasonal changes happen.

Link to DNA extraction activity

Seeing DNA

By Melissa Wilson Sayres

Every living thing uses DNA as the instructions for life. But how can we be sure that something so small is actually there at all? Here is one experiment that you can do at home or school that will actually let you see DNA.

Sooty Selection

By Robin Greene, Karla Moeller, and Megan Rowton

Discuss ideas of natural selection, play a selection-based game, and take a trip through time to see how scientists of the past figured out just how a trait is passed from a parent to its offspring.

Manduca Caterpillar

Try the new virtual manduca experiment. See these amazing animals grow.

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Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.

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Manduca Caterpillar

Try the new virtual manduca experiment. See these amazing animals grow.

Share to Google Classroom

Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.