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.

A Nervous Experiment

By Brittany Sanner

Do you think you need the same number of nerves in every part of your body? Where in your body might you need more nerves? See for yourself!
Also in: Español

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Air Pollution

By CJ Kazilek

The Phoenix metropolitan area, like many large cities, has problems with air pollution at certain times of the year. You can do a simple study to determine some of the factors that affect air pollution.

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Ant Farm

By Rebecca Clark

We can learn a lot from ants and the best way is to build your own ant farm. This activity teaches you how to make your own ant farm out of two CD cases.

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Bone Strength

By Arizona Science Center

Bones need to be both strong and flexible in order to do their job. Try this neat experiment to see what happens when bones lose either their strength or their flexibility. To explore the bones of the human skeleton, check out our Skeleton Viewer. To learn more, visit Busy Bones.

Catch and Sketch Plankton

By Colleen Miks

Learn to focus on detail and make keen observations that could be overlooked in a picture in this lesson on scientific sketching.

Collecting Ants

By Rebecca Clark

There are several different ways to get ants for an ant farm, depending on when you would like to start the farm and how long you would like for your ant farm to last. This activity walks you through the basics of collecting ants.

Composting

By Edward Birge

Microorganisms in action! Turn a pile of grass clippings into an experiment.

Cutting Out Brain Tumors

By Eugene Chung

Try out some of the new techniques that neurosurgeons are using to guide them during surgery.

Dr. Biology's Virtual Pocket Seed Experiment

By Dr. Biology

Dr. Biology has been busy working on a new experiment and he needs your help. He has collected so much information from the experiment that he needs someone to analyze the data. All the results have been recorded in photographs, including some cool animations.
Also in: Español | Français

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Heavy Water

By Lynne Kelper

This activity explores how the temperature of water affects its density. You will need to gather the following materials: a pencil; a small paper cup; a small-mouthed, clear-glass jar (the cup should be able to sit inside the opening of the jar); three ice cubes; and food coloring.

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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.

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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.

pathogen

What's Lurking in Lunch?

By Arizona Science Center

An interactive board game which challenges players to find the cause of a food born illness outbreak.

When Water Gets Icy

By Kyle Kinzler

In this experiment, we will look at one major difference between frozen freshwater and frozen saltwater.

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Your Dog's Personality

By Scientific Explorer

How well do you know your dog? You'll find out lots more about your pet's personality by answering the questions in this chart.

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.

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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.