Lessons



These are my posts that provide information on STEM labs. I often provide teacher with implementation tips in the post, and then include a printable student handout. I hope you find these helpful! 

While I prefer for labs to integrate the different sciences along with STEM topics, I went ahead and organized my labs based on the class/topic in which the lab might most likely be used. But when looking around, be sure to look in all the categories!

Biology Labs


BioFilm Lab: STEM mom suggests recycled materials be used as a way to collect, study, and control bacterial growth. Student printable lab included along with photos of some sample labs. Allow your kids to design their own apparatus, test their own materials, then study the results to reach their own conclusions. This is a high level inquiry lab, if you let them do it themselves! 


Bread on the Rise: Student try to answer which ingredient in bread makes it rise? and they see whether they can increase the speed at which bread can rise. Each student (or groups of students) has four small bread dough balls to manipulate an independent variable.  Some choose amount of water, sugar, flour, or yeast. Others see if artificial sweeteners work differently than sugar. 

Coin Probability Lab: Use a 1-coin toss and a 2-coin toss to have students compare their data to expected outcomes. STEM Mom shares a free lab download that includes a teacher answer key.

Living, Non-Living, vs. Dead Lab: Living or Non-Living?....that is the question. This is a lab that has students rotating around stations and using characteristics of life, that they themselves determined, to classify various specimens as living, non-living, or dead. Free student data table printable provided.

Owl Pellet Lab: Owl Vomit is so cool! More commonly known as owl pellets, this "specimen" is a common middle school dissection activity. STEM mom collects her own owl pellets and shares the dissection experience with her 5 year old son. Good times!

Giant Menacing Microbes: Creative, out-of-your-seat activity using the plush Giant Microbes to learn about viruses, bacteria and other microscopic phenomenon!

Earth Science/Ecology Labs


Soil Permeability and Porosity Lab: I provided three versions of a soil permeability and porosity lab. The cookbook version leads students through a procedure while the inquiry versions give students more freedom in how they measure differences in their soil samples. The "Science Lab Notebook" version leads students through a lab write-up. Free student printable.

Celery and Transpiration LabThis inquiry version of the age-old celery lab helps students to gain a sense of awe and wonder that water can move up a plant's stem and into the leaves without expending any energy. Explanation of how to implement the lab and a student printable is provided. Topics in the prelab include capillary action, surface tension, transpiration, microclimates. Students pick a variable to test and write their own methods, deciding how they will measure the rate of transpiration.


Dichotomous Keys Using Simple Materials: Students follow a simple key then design their own using matchbox cars.


The Lorax: With the 2012 version of this Dr. Suess classic, I have ideas on how to use this book to get students talking about environmental issues. Great science literacy for ANY age student.

Footprint lab: Playing and Designing Methods: Describes a STEM lesson where students make fossils (out of coffee, flour and salt) as a way to allow student to explore scientific reasoning skills. Student must come up with their own methods in this lab. Student printable is included.


Art and Science: Leaf Rubbing: Early childhood science lab has student making observations of leaves in order to make art.

Marine Oil Spill Lab:  Students are provided a bunch of materials and they work to determine a method that best cleans up an (veg. oil) spill in their ocean (water in a pie tin). Good inquiry lab.


Physical Science Labs



Friction Inquiry Lab:  STEM mom shares a friction inquiry lab. Students watch a demo, then design their own experiment to test and measure friction. They must determine their independent variable, dependent variable, constants, write a hypothesis, collect data, the determine whether their hypothesis was supported or not. A free student printable (handout) is provided.

Color and Light Lab: STEM mom shares a Light and Color lab good for middle and high schools students. Main purpose of the demos and activities in this lab is to help students determine the differences between additive colors (all the colors = white) and subtractive colors (all colors = black). Students study light, refraction, colored light, prisms, and get to play with paint. Works great as stations that student rotate through.  But also a great  homeschooling science lab!

Magnet Lab: Two part magnet lab; first part uses iron filings to view magnetic fields, the second has students designing a method to measure magnet strength. Free printable of student handout included!

Using Paper Airplanes to Teach Scientific Method:  Using paper airplanes to reinforce the scientific method. Goals, materials, data table, photos, and a student printable is included.

Marshmallow Puff Tubes: A lab designed to be used with middle and high school students, but also "piloted" with a 5 year old! Uses large marshmallows, toilet paper cardboard, tape, and flour to test the unbalanced forces that cause acceleration. (ie blow gun)

High School Science Labs: Description of my role as science lab coordinator.


Engineering/Technology Labs



Building Turbines: STEM mom shares how students, with very little background can design wind turbines out of very simple materials. Good for K-12!


Links to Google Docs

The labs listed below are some labs I've done in the last year but have yet to blog! The links take you to Google Docs.  


Guidelines for Lab Drawings: I am kinda particular on how students do lab drawings, this is my description of how they are to be done! (Ok so I'm OCD!)

First Microscope Lab: Traditional, cutting out newspaper letter, and looking at colored threads.

Cheek Cell Lab: I have students make three slides, as methaline blue stain on one, iodine on another, and no stain on the third. Then they compare them and determine best as they can the shape of their cells.

Determining Volume: In this lab students measure linear objects (like small boxes) to find their volume, then use the principle of displacement by dropping irregular shaped objects into graduated cylinders and beakers to find the change in water level.

Graphing: Basic paper lab that leads students to make line, bar, and pie graphs. Honestly, its not that great.

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