Environmental Microbiology Kit from Carolina Biologicals

I want to share another great kit from Carolina Biologicals.  This kit equips a class of 30 students with the materials necessary to grow molds and bacteria.  Contents include microscope slides, sterile pipettes, nutrient agar, crystal violet, and other essentials.  The kit is reasonably priced at $60 (just $2 per student). 

Click here to be directed to the site.


Secrets of the Sequence Video Series from VCU

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) offers a series of videos on its website.  The series consists of 50 videos that are between 5 and 13 minutes each.  Click here to be directed to the playlist.  I particularly like the video entitled “Avoiding Bottlenecks.”  This video follows scientists that are studying the population genetics of an endangered species, the Atlantic Sturgeon, in order to save it from extinction.

Free Posters from the EPA

The EPA offers free posters to teachers of grades K-8 upon request.  The poster titles available include “Water, The Resource That Gets Used and Used and Used for Everything!,” “How Do We Treat Our Wastewater?,” “Wetlands: Water, Wildlife, Plants, and People!,” “Ground Water: The Hidden Resource!,” “Water Quality: Potential Sources of Pollution,” and “Navigation: Traveling the Water Highway.”   On the reverse side of the posters are educational activities for grades 3-8.

Click here to be directed to the page with ordering information.

Colors Activity from the NEED Project

Here is a great in-class activity from The NEED Project (also linked from the Department of Energy’s website).  The activity, called “Colors and Light” teaches students about the ability of color to absorb light.  It requires four clear glasses, water, food coloring, and a thermometer and shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes.

For more information about The NEED (National Energy Education Development) Project, click here.

For directions on how to perform the Colors and Light activity, click here.

Moon Activity for the Classroom

In a rare move, I decided to post a second time today.  It is mostly because I have been feeling guilty about posting links to animations, videos, and interactive activities rather than posting lesson plans, lab activities, or classroom activities (the main goal of this blog).  So to fill the void, I am posting about an activity that can be done in the classroom for little to no cost. 

The website for the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology describes an activity in which each student demonstrates the phases of the moon in a simulation where the moon, sun, and earth are represented.  All you need is one light source (preferably a lamp), students, pencils, and some styrofoam balls.  The activity is short and straightforward helps students gain spacial awareness of the relationship between the sun, moon, and earth.

Owl Pellet Dissection Kit from Carolina Biologicals

This is another post about Carolina Biologicals.  I find that Carolina Biologicals offers great products for classroom labs that are meant to be completed in a 1-4 hour span.  Some of the great products that Carolina Biologicals supplies are their kits, which include all of the supplies you would need to complete an experiment. 

Today, I want to focus on their Owl Pellet Dissection kit.  I’m partial to this exercise, because I enjoyed doing Owl Pellet Dissection in my high school anatomy class.  The kit sells for $10 and includes an owl pellet, forceps, 2 wooden probes, a hand lens, bone chart, rat skeleton chart, and activity sheet. 

Click on “Owl Pellet Dissection Minikit” to be directed to the webpage.

Owl Pellet Dissection Minikit

Free Samples from MP Biomedicals

MP Biomedicals is a biotech company that specializes in Cell Biology and Molecular Biology products.  I am most familiar with MP Biomedicals as the main supplier of radioactivity to most scientists that I know.  Below is a link to their Promotions page, where they offer free samples.  I am most intrigued by the Encapsulated LB Media that they are currently offering.  They might save a lot of time for people who grow a lot of bacteria. 

Click “Free Samples and Promotions” to be directed to their page.

Free Samples and Promotions