Foundational Level General Science Laboratory Descriptions


Cellular Structure

Cells and Microscopy

Students make scientific observation about common household objects and then see how microscopes can improve those observations. They learn the parts of a compound light microscope as well as it uses and limitations. They then use the microscope to learn how organelles can be used to differentiate between plant and animal cells.

Cellular Processes

Abstract Instructions
Bromophenol Blue Snail and Plant Lab
Cell Simile
Cell Simulation
Every Breath You Take
Lab Agenda
Lego Builds
Microscopy Observation Drawing Rubric
Microscopy Practicum Rubric
Photosynthesis Images Captions
Photosynthesis Images Captionless
Protist Drawing Page

Students get further practice with the microscope. They run simulations and simple experiments illustrating the processes of photosynthesis and cellular respiration.  They explore the interconnectedness of these processes.

DNA Structure and Function

DNA Student Handout

Students build a DNA model with the information available to Watson and Crick.  They then use their model to better understand DNA replication and superstructure.

Introduction to Macromolecules

Student Handout #1
Student Handout #2

Students connect four types of macromolecules to food. They use toobers to build protein models and discuss the accuracies and limitations of these models. They discuss the similarities and differences between RNA and DNA structure.  They use Q-tips to model lipid structure.

Genetics: Patterns of Inheritance


Students learn Punnett squares and simulate a few generations of inheritance with everyday objects. They look at genetic variations in humans (in themselves) and work with a model set of chromosomes to understand the differences between meiosis and mitosis.


Crab Claw Activity
Crab Claw Overview

Students classify different potential adaptations. They design a unique habitat and predict needed adaptations for survival. Following a whole-class gallery walk with comments, students modify their habitats and adaptations. They put the idea of evolution into practice with a hands-on simulation of a population of crab claws (different binder clips). 

Population Ecology

Population Ecology

Students explore predator-prey dynamics through different simulations – card games and tag.

Biogeochemical Cycling

Biogeochemical Cycles
Biogeochemical Cycles Diagrams
Biogeochemical Project
Biogeochemical Phase Change Rap

Students work together in groups to create a project (song, skit, short book) about an assigned biogeochemical cycle. They complete a graphic organizer about their cycle, perform or read their project to their classmates, and prepare questions to assess how well they shared that knowledge.

Human Physiology

Human Physiology Musculoskeletal System

Students dissect a chicken wing and examine a cow femur to learn about the muscoskeletal system.

Plant Physiology

Flower Dissection
Plant Evolution Graphic

Students dissect a flower and label the parts. They then compare their flower with those of other students and connect their observations with the earlier parts of the course – adaptation, ecology, functional processes, etc…