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Our Science in Motion has high-tech, quality lab equipment available to loan, as well as a vast array of unique and challenging labs.


Investigating Enzymes (AP Lab)
Extract the enzyme catalase (peroxidase) from potato cells, and investigate the variables that affect enzyme function (substrate and enzyme concentration, temperature, pH, salinity) using laptop computers and Vernier gas pressure sensors. This lab can be completed in a single period with groups investigating different variables or in a double period with time for additional variables. (40 minutes with data sharing; 80 minutes with additional variables)

Energy in Foods
Students calculate the Calories present in various foods by burning them and measuring the associated change in temperature of water using laptop computers and Vernier temperature probes. This lab can be completed in a single period or in a double period with time for additional tests. (40 minutes; 80 minutes with additional tests)

The Effect of Acids and Bases on Biological Materials
Using laptop computers and Vernier pH probes, students investigate the buffering capacity of a variety of biological and non-biological materials demonstrating the stability of pH in the event of environmental changes. pH is also explored as an element of the Investigating Enzymes and the What Chemicals can Affect Biological Membranes? labs as well as in the Acid Rain ecology lab. (40 minutes)

Protein Electrophoresis
Using gel electrophoresis, students separate proteins by size and charge. Using precast polyacrylamide gels, students investigate the proteins extracted from fish muscle in the protein fingerprinting lab Something Fishy about Evolution or in the forensic lab Species Substitution. These labs are 2 day labs with the first day spent in extraction of protein and loading of gels (a fast paced 40 minutes) and the second day in analysis of stained and destained gels (40 minutes). Gels must destain overnight. Protein electrophoresis can also be performed as a final step in the purification of the Green Fluorescent Protein in the Genetic Engineering section.

Amino Acid Starter Kit
The Amino Acid Sidechain Kit is designed to allow students to explore how the unique chemical properties of each of the 20 amino acids determine the final shape of a protein. Students explore the shape and chemical properties of the 20 amino acid sidechains with engaging foam models. The sidechains feature dual coloring schemes - color on one side indicates chemical properties and on the other side students color-code atoms. Since understanding protein structure begins with this unique combination of shape and chemical properties of the amino acid sidechains, students will gain a basic knowledge of the laws that determine protein folding. This is a loaner item that comes with a CD guide of activities.

Cell Biology

Why Are Cells Small?
Use agarose cubes to demonstrate the effect of the surface area to volume ratio on diffusion of nutrients in cells. The release of sodium and chloride ions from the cubes into distilled water is measured with a Vernier Conductivity Probe and data recorded with a laptop computer. (40 minutes)

Investigating Diffusion (AP Lab)
Using Vernier Conductivity probes and laptop computers, students investigate the process of diffusion using dialysis tubing. (40 minutes)

What Chemicals Can Affect Biological Membranes?
Using beet cubes and Vernier Colorimeters, students can study the effects of alcohol, pH, detergent and salt on the cell membrane. (40 minutes with some data sharing between groups) See also Effect of Alcohol on Biological Membranes in Health and Human Biology.

Are Seeds Alive? (AP Lab - Cellular Respiration)
Using Vernier oxygen and carbon dioxide gas sensors, students can compare germinating and non-germinating pea seeds to observe that germinating seeds (as well as plants) do use oxygen and give off carbon dioxide as they perform cellular respiration. (40 minutes for basic lab; 80 minutes with addition of temperature variable)

Exploring Cellular Respiration with Yeast Cells
Which Sugars do Yeast Cells Prefer?
Using a Vernier carbon dioxide gas sensor, students evaluate the effectiveness of four different sugars as a food source for yeast cells. This lab can also be performed using popular drinks that contain different sugars (sports drinks, fruit juices, etc) (40 minutes with sharing of data between groups; 80 minutes for all variables)

Does Temperature Affect Cellular Respiration?
Students investigate the effect of temperature on the rate of respiration in yeast cells undergoing fermentation or aerobic respiration. (40 minutes) (Crickets can also be used as the experimental organism for this investigation. See How Does Temperature Affect Poikilotherms?)

Lactase Action
Students will test the action of lactase by testing for the presence of glucose in a test system and determine if yeast can metabolize glucose, lactose, or galactose by monitoring production of carbon dioxide with a Vernier carbon dioxide gas sensor. (40 minutes with group data sharing)

DNA, Genetics and Genetic Engineering

Preparing a Human Karyotype
Students prepare a human karyotype to view chromosomes, using cells from a human tumor cell line, (HeLa) and a splat preparation technique, and then study the chromosomes using light microscopes. Slides are prepared and stained in the first class period. Slides can be observed under oil immersion the next day. ( 2-40 minutes classes; slides must dry 24-48 hrs. before use under oil immersion)

DNA Fingerprinting
Using a restriction enzyme digest of DNA, students use agarose gel electrophoresis to prepare and analyze a DNA fingerprint. Gels are stained and analyzed to determine size of DNA fragments and introduce the concept of a molecular weight standard curve. Day 1 of the lab is the electrophoresis of the DNA and Day 2 is the preparation of a standard curve and analysis of DNA size. DNA fingerprinting is an element of the Crime Scene lab in the Forensics section. (Two 40 minutes classes; gels stain overnight)

Electrophoresis of Restriction Digests of Lambda DNA (AP Lab)
Students use agarose gel electrophoresis to analyze lambda DNA fragments and determine molecular weight. Gels are stained and analyzed to determine size of DNA fragments and introduce the concept of a molecular weight standard curve. Day 1 of the lab is the electrophoresis of the DNA and Day 2 is the preparation of a standard curve and analysis of DNA size. (Two 40 minutes classes; gels stain overnight)

Genetic Engineering in the Classroom (pGLO Bacterial Transformation - AP Lab)
Students use bacterial transformation techniques to create E. coli bacteria that glow in the dark by introducing a plasmid with genes from a glowing jellyfish species. This a 2 day lab with the transformation accomplished in the first day and analysis of resultant colonies using UV light the second day. The experiment can be extended by growing up a culture of the glowing bacteria and purifying the green fluorescent protein using column chromatography. (Two 40 minutes classes; bacteria must grow overnight)

Crime Scene PCR
This lab is an introduction to the PCR technique and to the use of STRs (short tandem repeats) in the forensic analysis of DNA. Students perform PCR reactions on provided DNA templates representing a crime scene DNA sample and DNA from 4 suspects. The resulting PCR products are separated on high percentage agarose gels. Following agarose gel electrophoresis, students stain the gels to visualize the products, compare them to a DNA ladder of possible alleles, and assign a genotype for the DNA samples. Students will then look to see if any of the suspects' genotype matches the crime scene, and see whether they can identify the perpetrator. This lab can act as a standalone lab or can be used as the DNA portion of the Biology Crime Scene. (Three 40 minute periods)

Genetically Modified Organism PCR
Students engage in a complete investigation in which they choose sample food items obtained from the grocery store, extract DNA from the samples, amplify the DNA using PCR, and use gel electrophoresis to identify the presence or absence of amplified GMO sequences. This lab is a multi-day lab: foods are extracted for DNA on day 1, PCR reactions are set up on day 2 and run overnight, electrophoresis of DNA is done on day 3 with gels stained overnight, and results are analyzed on day 4.


How Does Temperature Affect Poikilotherms?
(Another approach to Cellular Respiration) Students study the effect of temperature on the metabolism of "cold-blooded" organisms, by monitoring the carbon dioxide production of crickets at various temperatures. (40 minutes with data sharing)


Biology Crime Scene
When presented with a crime scene and evidence, students compare the effectiveness of DNA evidence with traditional fingerprinting, blood typing, and hair analysis techniques. Students will use gel electrophoresis to prepare and analyze a DNA fingerprint in the process of completing this investigation. (Three to four 40 minute periods depending on elements chosen)

Species Substitution
The marinated fish at the exclusive restaurant is advertised as red snapper. But is it really? Using fresh fish samples, students will extract proteins and analyze them using SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis to determine which fish species is actually the special of the day. ( Two 40 minute classes; gels must destain overnight)

Health and Human Biology

EKG/Heart Rate/Respiration (AP Lab)
Using laptop computers and Vernier Sensors, students:
Use the EKG Sensor to collect an EKG waveform; determine the time interval between EKG events; calculate heart rate based on the EKG recording.
Use hand grip heart rate monitors to determine the effect of body position on heart rates; the effect of exercise on heart rates; evaluate overall fitness level.
Use the respiration sensor to monitor the respiratory rate of an individual; evaluate the effect of holding of breath on the respiratory cycle; evaluate the effect of rebreathing of air on the respiratory cycle.
(40 minutes for each of the component of this description. The labs can be scheduled individually) Teaching stethoscopes and semi-automatic blood pressure monitors are available as equipment loans.

Blood Pressure
A number of blood pressure labs are available using the Vernier Blood Pressure sensor. These include Blood Pressure as a Vital Sign which includes baseline blood pressure measurements and blood pressure response to cold, and Blood Pressure and Exercise measuring baseline blood pressure and blood pressure following exercise. Other labs from the Vernier physiology book combine blood pressure and heart rate measurement

Pressures Underfoot
Students explore the biomechanics of their own body by determining foot area, foot pressure, and force due to gravity using the computer and the Vernier force sensor and the Novel pressure platform. (40 minutes)

Effect of Alcohol on Biological Membranes
Students study the stress that alcohols (methanol, ethanol and propanol) have on biological membranes, using beet cells and a Vernier Colorimeter linked to the computer to measure cellular damage. (40 minutes)

Disease Transmission
Using the technique of ELISA (Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbant Assay) students track the spread of a disease outbreak and assay for the presence of the disease antigen. (40 minutes)

Transfusion Confusion (Blood Typing)
Wiley has had an unfortunate accident. He may need a blood transfusion. Which one of his siblings, David, Jane, or John can donate blood to their desperate brother? Using simulated blood, samples are typed into blood and Rh groups using A, B, and Rh antisera. Antigens and antibodies are discussed as the students solve the medical dilemma. (40 minutes)

Lung Volumes and Capacities
Measurement of lung volumes using the Vernier spirometer provides a tool for understanding normal function of the lungs as well as disease states. In this experiment, students will measure lung volumes during normal breathing and with maximum effort and will correlate lung volumes with a variety of clinical scenarios. From the LabPro data collection, students will determine tidal volume, inspiratory reserve, and expiratory reserve and from these numbers will calculate vital capacity and total lung capacity. (40 minutes)

Grip Strength Comparison and Grip Strength and Muscle Fatigue
These labs use the Vernier Hand Dynamometer to measure grip strength, pinch strength, and to perform muscle fatigue studies. In Grip Strength Comparison, students measure and compare grip strength in the right and left hand collecting maximum force and mean force data for each hand. Students also compare pinch strengths of the individual fingers of the dominant hand. Class data can be compiled and correlated with gender and height. Grip Strength and Muscle Fatigue examines the effect of fatigue on muscle action as students perform sustained and repetitive isometric contractions of the hand and arm muscles using the hand dynamometer. Students will generate a graphical representation of the force exerted by the hand while gripping. They also observe the change in hand strength over time using first a continuous grip and then a repetitive grip. These experiments give students a great visual representation of the forces generated as a muscle is fatigued. These activities appeal to the fitness-oriented crowd and may generate a sense of competitiveness among those sports participants. (each lab requires a 40 minute period)

Neuromuscular Reflexes
The EKG sensor can be used to measure the electrical activity resulting from contraction of muscles other than the heart. Students will use the Vernier EKG sensor to obtain a graphical representation of the electrical activity of a muscle activated by the patellar reflex arc. They will observe the effect of the central nervous system influence on reflex amplitude by measuring the relative strength of the patellar reflex with and without reinforcement. (40 minute period)

Digital Microscopy

Digital Microscopy
Boreal digital microscopes and a dedicated set of 6 laptop computers that utilize Motic software can be a great learning tool for your classroom. Slides are viewed on the computer screen making it a great set-up for lab group participation and communication. Still images can be captured with the software and saved as jpg files that can then be used by students or teachers in written or PowerPoint presentations. The software has a measurement feature that will allow students to analyze many size parameters of the images. Video images can also be captured and reviewed again and again by students. The digital scopes have been used in the hair analysis for crime scene, to view slides prepared in the human chromosome splat lab, as an introduction to microscopy, and to survey and classify pond water samples or bacterial cultures. Many teachers reserve the digital microscopes as a loan to give students time to learn the software and to become comfortable with this type of microscopy.

Introduction to Digital Microscopy
This lab provides a refresher in skills with the microscope, and slide preparation and an introduction to some of the features of the digital microscope. (40 minutes or longer if combined with plasmolysis activities)

Observing and Measuring Plasmolysis of Elodea through Digital Microscopy
Students will use the digital microscopes to observe both normal plant cells and plasmolyzed plant cells noting changes in the internal structure of the cell. The common aquarium plant, Elodea, will be used in this lab. (40 minutes)


Acid Rain
Using the Vernier pH probes, students explore how varying sources of the acid in "acid rain" may affect ecosystems differently, and learn why some bodies of water are more vulnerable to acid rain than others. (40 minutes)

Biodiversity and Ecosystems
Students explore how biodiversity creates differing microclimates as they explore the plant and animal diversity in different locations and relate it to the environment's temperature measured with the Vernier temperature probe. (40 minutes for limited collection; 80 minutes more variables)

Population Dynamics
Phases of population growth are tracked through a population of yeast cells in a closed environment, using a Colorimeter and laptop computers to evaluate population density. This lab is available as an equipment loan. (Nine 40 minute classes)

Measuring Primary Productivity (AP Lab)
Students use Vernier Dissolved Oxygen probes to investigate the use of oxygen by photosynthetic algae in both light and dark conditions. By comparing oxygen produced with oxygen consumed, students can calculate both gross and net primary productivity as they address the misconception that plants don't require oxygen. (Two 40 minute classes; requires an overnight incubation period)

Water Quality Testing
A variety of Vernier probes [including Temperature, Dissolved Oxygen, Conductivity, Nitrate, pH, Turbidity, Ammonium, Calcium (Water Hardness), Chloride (Salinity), Flow Rate] can be used to evaluate the quality of different water samples. The probes may be used with the LabPro and a laptop computer or with a LabPro remote collection method. (40 minute in-lab with 1-2 samples; more time if in field)

Greenhouse Effect
Using what students know about sunlight, temperature, greenhouses, and global warming, they will first make predictions and then collect data using two Vernier Temperature Probes to measure and compare the temperatures in model greenhouses under various conditions. (40 minutes)


Bacterial Inhibition
Students learn the importance of antibiotics and antiseptics in inhibiting the growth of bacteria. Non-pathenogenic species are plated on growth media along with various antibiotic and antiseptic disks. Zones of inhibition are observed and recorded by students. (Two 40 minute classes; requires an overnight incubation)

Gram Stain Technique
Students learn the traditional method to classify bacteria by preparing bacterial smears and treating slides with crystal violet, Gram's Iodine, decolorizing solution, and safranin. Bacterial smears can be classified as Gram positive (purple) or Gram negative (pink) and physical characteristics are described as students observe results with the light microscopes. (40 minutes for slide preparation; 40 minutes for observation)

Population Dynamics
Phases of population growth are tracked through a population of yeast cells in a closed environment, using a Colorimeter and laptop computers to evaluate population density. This lab is available as an equipment loan. (Nine 40 minute classes)


Investigating Water Movement in Plants (AP Lab)
Students use a Vernier Gas Pressure sensor to track movement of water through a plant stem as transpiration occurs, then manipulate environmental variables that may affect the transpiration rate. (40 minutes possible with instructor set-up; 80 minutes with student set-up)

Do Plants Need Oxygen? (Measuring Primary Productivity (AP Lab)
Students use Vernier Dissolved Oxygen probes to investigate the use of oxygen by photosynthetic algae in both light and dark conditions. By comparing oxygen produced with oxygen consumed, students can calculate both gross and net primary productivity as they address the misconception that plants don't require oxygen. This a 2 day lab involving an overnight incubation period. (Two 40 minute classes; requires an overnight incubation period)

Photosynthesis and Respiration
Students use sensors to measure carbon dioxide consumed or produced by plant leaves to determine the rate of respiration and photosynthesis. (40 minutes)

Photosynthesis and Plant Pigments (AP lab)
Students follow the photosynthesis reaction in a preparation of chloroplasts using a blue dye (2,6-dichlorophenol-indophenol, or DPIP) to replace NADPH in the light reactions. When the dye is oxidized, it is blue. When reduced, it turns colorless. Since DPIP replaces NADPH in the light reactions, it will turn from blue to colorless when reduced during photosynthesis. This color change is measured with the Vernier Colorimenter and data points are plotted to obtain a rate of photosynthesis. Plant pigments may be separated using paper chromatography to complete the AP requirements for this lab. (each segment of the lab requires 40 minutes)


Determination of Chlorophyll in Olive Oil
Students use the Vernier SpectroVis to differentiate between various grades (extra virgin, regular and light) of olive oil. (40 minutes)

Introductory Material

Find the Relationship: An Exercise in Graphing Analysis (40 min.)
Use a computer and graphing programs to determine mathematical relationships.

States of Matter

Freezing and Melting of Water (40 min.)
Investigate and graph the cooling and warming behavior of water using LoggerPro and computer graphing programs.

Another Look at Freezing Temperature (40 min.)
Observe what happens when phenyl salicylate freezes and see the effect on the freezing temperature when a small amount of benzoic acid is dissolved in the phenyl salicylate.

Heat of Fusion of Ice (40 min.)
Determine the energy required to melt one gram of ice and the molar heat of fusion for ice.

Evaporation and Intermolecular Attractions (40 min.)
Study temperature changes caused by the evaporation of several liquids and relate the temperature changes to the strength of the intermolecular forces of attraction.

Using Freezing Point Depression to Find Molecular Weight (40 min.)
Find the freezing temperatures of pure lauric acid and then of benzoic acid and lauric acid. By measuring the freezing point depression and the mass of the benzoic acid, determine the molecular weight of the benzoic acid.


Endothermic and Exothermic Reactions (40 min.)
Study one exothermic and one endothermic reaction. Use LoggerPro to collect and display data as a graph or table and analyze experimental data.

Energy Content of Foods (40 min.)
Determine the energy released as various foods burn and look for patterns in the amount of energy released.

Energy Content of Fuels (40 min.)
Use a Styrofoam-cup calorimeter to measure the heat released by three reactions. Calculate the heat of reaction for the three reactions and use the results to confirm Hess's law.

Additivity of Heats of Reaction: Hess's Law (40 min.)
Find and compare the heat of combustion of two different fuels, paraffin wax and ethanol, as the heat per gram of fuel consumed is calculated.

Heat of Combustion: Magnesium (40 min.)
Determine the heat of reaction for the combustion of magnesium ribbon by using Hess's Law.


Boyle's Law: Pressure-Volume Relationship in Gases (40 min.)
Determine the relationship between the pressure and volume of a confined gas.

Pressure-Temperature Relationship in Gases (40 min.)
Determine what kind of mathematical relationship exists between the pressure and absolute temperature of a confined gas.

Vapor Pressure of Liquids (40 min.)
Investigate the relationship between the vapor pressure of a liquid and its temperature. Then compare the vapor pressure of two different liquids, ethanol and methanol, at the same temperature.


Determining the Concentration of a Solution: Beer's Law (40 min.)
Determine the concentration of an unknown nickel (II) sulfate solution (or a food coloring solution) using the colorimeter, Spectrophotometer 20 apparatus, or Spectro Vis and an absorbance vs. concentration plot of known concentrations (utilizing Beer's Law).

Effect of Temperature on Solubility of a Salt (40 min.)
Study the effect of changing temperature on the amount of solute that will dissolve in a given amount of water. A graph of the temperature-solubility data, or solubility curve, will be plotted using the computer.

Conductivity of Solutions: The Effect of Concentration (40 min.)
The influence of different concentrations of several ionic salts upon the conductivity of their solutions is determined using conductivity probes.

Acids and Bases

Household Acids and Bases (40 min.)
Use litmus and a computer interfaced pH sensor to determine the pH values of household substances such as vinegar, soda beverages, drain cleaner, lemon juice, ammonia and detergent.

Acid Rain (40 min.)
Produce three gases, CO2, SO2 and NO2. Simulate the formation of acid rain by bubbling each of the gases into water and producing three acidic solutions. The acidity of the water will be monitored with a pH sensor.

Titration Curves of Strong and Weak Acids and Bases (40 min.)
Observe differences in shapes of titration curves when various strengths of acids and bases are combined and learn about the function and selection of appropriate acid-base indicators.

Acid-Base Titration (40 min.)
Titrate hydrochloric acid solution with a basic sodium hydroxide solution to determine the unknown concentration of HCl using a computer to monitor pH as the titration proceeds.

Time-Released Vitamin C Tablets (40 min.)
Use a pH Sensor to monitor and compare the behavior of timed-release vitamin C tablets with regular vitamin C tablets when each is added to distilled water over an elapsed time.

Acid Dissociation Constant, Determining Ka. (40 min.)
Experimentally determine the dissociation constant, Ka, for acetic acid, starting with solutions of different initial concentrations.

The Buffer in Lemonade (40 min.)
Use a pH Sensor to monitor pH as you titrate a given volume of a commercial brand of lemonade drink and an unbuffered solution of 0.010 M citric acid. Compare the results of the unbuffered solution with the lemonade buffer system.

Determining the Phosphoric Acid Content in Soft Drinks (40 min.)
Use a pH Sensor to monitor pH during the titration of phosphoric acid in a cola soft drink and use the titration equivalence point to determine the molarity of the phosphoric acid.


Rate Law Determination of the Crystal Violet Reaction (40 min.)
Observe the reaction between crystal violet and sodium hydroxide to study the relationship between the concentration of crystal violet and the time elapsed during the reaction. Determine the order of the reaction, the rate constant and the half-life for the reaction.

The Kinetics of a Bleach Reaction (40 min.)
The objective of this experiment is to determine the rate law and order of a reaction between food coloring and commercial bleach based on your analysis of the graph of absorbance vs . time using a Vernier Spectrometer (SpectroVis).

Chromotography and Spectroscopy

What Alcohols are in the Mixtures? (40 min.)
Use the Gas Chromatograph (GC) apparatus to identify and separate alcohols in mixtures such as windshield washer fluid, rubbing alcohol and mouthwash.

Identifying Organic Liquids Using Infrared Spectroscopy (40 min.)
Using the FTIR, students will look at the spectra of various unknown liquids. By comparing to a table of values, the functional groups present can be determined and the molecules can be identified.

FTIR Fatty Acids (40 min.)
Using infrared (IR) spectroscopy, students will determine different types of fatty acids in foods samples such as Crisco shortening, butter, margarines and assorted oils that have trans fatty acids on the label.

Testing the Effectiveness of Sunscreens (40 min.)
Using the UV-VIS Spectrophotometer, students compare the ability of various sunscreen brands or SPF values to protect against ultra-violet rays.

Beet Lab (40 min.)
Using a UV-VIS Spectrophotometer, students will determine under which pH conditions a betalain from red beet can be used as a red-purple dye. They will also demonstrate that a single dye can be used to make different colors.

Visible Spectra of Commercial Dyes (40 min.)
In this experiment, you will use a Vernier Spectrometer (SpectroVis) to measure and analyze the visible light absorbance spectra of various samples of aqueous food dye mixtures such as soda and mouthwash over the 380 - 950 nm range and compare the spectra of the dyes to the spectra of various commercial products.

Emission Spectra (40 min.)
In this experiment, students use a Vernier Spectrometer (SpectroVis) to measure the emission spectrum of helium, hydrogen, krypton and neon spectral tubes.

Transmittance of Theatrical Lighting Filters (40 min.)
In this experiment, students use a Vernier Spectrometer (SpectroVis) to measure and analyze the visible light transmittance spectrum of various samples of theatrical lighting filters. Students will compare and contrast the spectra of lighting filters with the published information.

Spectroscopy of Ice Pops (40 min.)
Using our new Vernier SpectroVis visible spectrophotometers, students can determine the visible absorbance spectra for each of the four commercially available food dyes. Then by running absorbance spectra for samples of the six Ice Pop flavors, students can determine which food dye or dyes are used in the Ice Pop. This lab is a very good introduction to spectrophotometry and mixing colors.

Nuclear Chemistry

Alpha, Beta, and Gamma (40 min.)
Use a radiation monitor to measure the absorption of alpha, beta and gamma radiation by air, paper and aluminum.

Distance and Radiation (40 min.)
Use a counter to measure the radiation emitted by a gamma source as a function of distance.

Lifetime Measurement (40 min., 30 waiting time)
The radiation monitor is used to measure the decay constant and half life of barium-137 using a Cesium/Barium-137 Isogenerator.

Radiation Shielding (40 min.)
Use a radiation monitor to study how the radiation emitted by a beta source is absorbed by cardboard.
Combined Radiation: Penetrating and Shielding Ability (40-80 min.)
In this lab, students will use alpha, beta and gamma radiation sources and various shielding materials along with the Vernier Radiation Monitor to determine the penetrating and shielding abilities of materials.


Bring Back the Bison! A crime scene devoted to Chemistry.
The following components of the Chemistry Crime Scene can be completed over a period of 4-5 days. If a shorter time period is preferred, some components can be left out.

Melting Point (25 min.)
Students use the Mel-Temp apparatus to analyze and identify white powders.

Paper Chromatography (40 min.)
The simple technique is used to analyze ink from a note found at the crime scene and compare it to ink from confiscated pens.

Analysis of Fabrics (20 min.)
Students analyze fabric samples using both a fabric stain test and a burning test in order to determine the type of fabric, i.e. cotton, polyester, nylon, etc.

Gas Chromatography (40 min.)
Students will separate and identify the type of alcohol present in unknown samples found at the crime scene and compare with data of their suspect samples.

Infrared Spectroscopy (40 min.)
The IR will be used to look at plastic film samples. Students will have some practice looking at wavenumbers and identifying functional groups. They will also compare to a database to identify the source of the plastic samples.

Spectrophotometry (40 min.)
Students will use the Spectronic 20 Genesys (Spec 20) to analyze Kool-Aid samples. This lab includes a recreation of events in which the students must carry out a serial dilution to create their own samples.

CSI - Soil Testing (30 min.)
Students will receive a crime scene soil sample in addition to soil samples associated with 6 suspects. Students will then perform four tests that should ensure matching the crime scene evidence with one or more of the suspects. The four tests are: Visible description, water absorption rate, pH and conductivity.


Gold Nanoparticle Synthesis and Analysis (40 min.)
Students synthesize gold nanoparticles and explore their size-dependent properties by adding salt or sugar.
Or...customize your own lab using our equipment and expertise!


Graph Matching (Physics) (40 min.)
Students will analyze the motion of a student walking across the room using the Motion Detector. They will also predict, sketch and test position and velocity vs. time kinematics graphs.

Back and Forth Motion (Physics) (40 min.)
The Motion Detector is used in this lab that qualitatively analyzes the motion of objects that move back and forth. Comparisons are made to catalog objects that exhibit similar motion. Objects analyzed include pendulums, dynamics carts, students jumping, springs, and bouncing balls.

Projectile Motion (Physics) (40 min.)
Measure the velocity of a rolling ball using photogates and computer software and then apply concepts from physics to predict the impact point of the ball in projectile motion.

Newton's Second Law (Physics) (40 min.)
A Force Sensor and Accelerometer will let students measure force on a cart simultaneously with the carts acceleration. Students will compare graphs of force vs. time and acceleration vs. time. They will analyze a graph of force vs. acceleration to determine the relationship between force, mass and acceleration.

Newton's Second Law (Physical Science) (40 min.)
In this experiment, students will use a computer-interfaced Motion Detector to determine acceleration and make conclusions about the relationship between mass and acceleration.

Newton's Third Law (Physics) (40 min.)
Observe the directional relationship and time variation between force pairs using two force sensors. After collecting data and analyzing the results, students will explain Newton's third law in simple language.

Simple Harmonic Motion (Physics) (40 min.)
Using the Motion Detector, students will measure the position and velocity of an oscillating mass and spring system as a function of time. They will then compare the observed motion to a mathematical model of simple harmonic motion.

Pendulum Periods (Physics) (40 min.)
This simple experiment measures the period of a pendulum as a function of amplitude, length, and bob mass using the Photogate.

Acceleration and Gravity

Modern Galileo Experiment (Physics) (40 min.)
Determine if Galileo's assumption of uniform acceleration is valid based on the use of a Motion Detector to measure the speed of a ball down an incline.

Determining g on an Incline (Physics) (40 min.)
Students will use the motion detector to measure acceleration and determine the mathematical relationship between the angle of an inclined plane and the acceleration of a ball rolling down the ramp. They will also use extrapolation to determine the value of free fall acceleration and determine if this is valid. Students can also compare the results for a ball with the results for a low-friction dynamics cart.

Picket Fence Free Fall (Physics) (40 min.)
This is a very straight forward lab in which students will measure the acceleration of a freely falling body (g) to better than 0.5% precision using a Picket Fence and a Photogate with the Vernier software.

Ball Toss (Physics) (40 min.)
Predictions for the graphs of position, acceleration and velocity vs. time of tossing of a ball will be made and then students will collect data and analyze the graphs of position, acceleration, and velocity vs. time. The best fit line will be determined for the position and velocity vs. time graphs, while mean acceleration will be calculated from the acceleration vs. time graph.

Ball Toss with Video Analysis (Physics) (40-60 min.)
Same as above with a video component: Logger Pro software can insert videos of your experiment into files. You can then synchronize the video of the balls motion to the graphs produced. When you replay the experiment, the data and video can all be viewed together. You will use a digital camera to capture your motion as the ball is tossed. How will the velocity vs. time and acceleration vs. time graphs look as the motion of the ball changes?

Bungee Jump Accelerations (Physics) (40 min.)
In this experiment, students will investigate the accelerations that occur during a bungee jump. An Accelerometer will be used to analyze the motion of a toy bungee jumper and determine where acceleration is at a maximum and a minimum.

Atwood's Machine (Physics) (40 min.)
This lab takes a look at a classic experiment in physics. Using a Photogate, students will measure acceleration and determine the relationships between the masses on an Atwood's machine and the acceleration.

Friction and Resistance

Static and Kinetic Friction (Physics) (40 min.)
Students will be able to measure the force of static friction using a Dual-Range Force Sensor and will determine the relationship between force of static friction and the weight of an object. They will also use a Motion Detector to determine that the coefficient of kinetic friction depends on weight.

Air Resistance (Physics) (40 min.)
Using the Motion Detector, students will observe the effect of air resistance on falling coffee filters and determine how the terminal velocity of a falling object is affected by air resistance and mass. They will then choose between two competing force models.


Energy of a Tossed Ball (Physics) (40 min.)
Using a ball and a Motion Detector, students will see how the total energy of the ball changes during free fall by measuring the change in the kinetic and potential energies as a ball moves during free fall.

Energy in Simple Harmonic Motion (Physics) (40 min.)
In this lab activity, slotted masses and springs are used in coordination with a Motion Detector to examine the energies involved in simple harmonic motion and to test the principle of conservation of energy.

Energy in Simple Harmonic Motion with Video Analysis (Physics) (40 min.)
Same as above with video component: Logger Pro software can insert videos of your experiment into files. You can then synchronize the video of the balls motion to the graphs produced. When you replay the experiment, the data and video can all be viewed together. You will use a digital camera to capture your motion as the ball is tossed.

Work and Energy (Physics) (40 min.)
A Motion Detector and Force Sensor will be used to measure position and force and to determine the work done on an object. Students will also measure velocity and calculate kinetic energy. Lastly, they will be able to compare the work done on a cart to its change in mechanical energy.

Momentum, Energy and Collisions (Physics) (40 min.)
Students will use the dynamics cart track to observe collisions between two carts, testing for conservation of momentum. They will also measure energy changes during different types of collisions and classify collisions as elastic, inelastic, or completely inelastic.


Underfoot Pressure (40 min.)
Students will use various forms of technology to obtain data on foot pressure, foot area, and force. Forms include use of a Vernier force plate, forensic developing paper and ink and a Novel pressure platform.


Sound Waves and Beats (Physics) (40 min.)
Measure the frequency, period and amplitude of sound waves from tuning forks and observe beats between the sounds of two tuning forks.

Tones, Vowels and Telephones (Physics) (40 min.)
Use our microphones to analyze the frequency components of tuning forks and of the human voice. You can also record the overtones produced with the tuning forks and examine how a touch tone phone works with regard to predominant frequencies.

Speed of Sound (Physics) (40 min.)
Students will measure how long it takes sound waves to travel down a long tube in order to determine the speed of sound and compare the speed in air to the accepted value.


Polarization of Light (Physics) (40 min.)
Measure the transmission of light through two polarizing filters as a function of the angle between their axes and compare it to Malus's Law.

Light, Brightness and Distance (Physics) (40 min.)
Determine the mathematical relationship between the intensity of a light source and the distance from the light source.

Reflectivity of Light (Physical Science) (40 min.)
Use a computer interfaced light sensor to measure reflected light and calculate the percent reflectivity of various colors

Polaroid Filters (Physical Science) (40 min.)
Use a computer interfaced light sensor to measure the intensity of transmitted light and study the transmission of light by Polaroid filters.

Emission Spectra (40 min.)
In this experiment, students use a Vernier Spectrometer (SpectroVis) to measure the emission spectrum of helium, hydrogen, krypton and neon spectral tubes.

Transmittance of Theatrical Lighting Filters (40 min.)
In this experiment, students use a Vernier Spectrometer (SpectroVis) to measure and analyze the visible light transmittance spectrum of various samples of theatrical lighting filters. Students will compare and contrast the spectra of lighting filters with the published information.


Ohm's Law (Physics) (40 min.)
Students will determine the mathematical relationship between current, potential difference and resistance in a simple circuit. They will also compare the potential vs. current behavior of a resistor to that of a light bulb.

Simple Machines

First Class Levers, Pulleys, Inclined Planes (Physical Science) (40 min.)
Use a computer to measure resistance force and effort force. Use this information to calculate the mechanical advantage of each lever. Use a computer-interfaced Force Sensor to measure force of single and double pulley systems. Calculate the actual and mechanical advantage as well as determine efficiency. Measure the force needed to lift an object and the force needed to pull the same object up an inclined plane using a computer-interfaced Force Sensor. Calculate and compare the work done and the efficiency.

Tension and the Isosceles Triangle (40 min.)
Students will collect force data for a hanging mass on a string using force sensors to analyze the concept of tension and to study vector forces in a static situation.


Starry Night High School (40 min. lessons included)
Starry Night High School makes it easy to teach astronomy with a comprehensive space science curriculum solution written for teachers by teachers. It offers innovative lesson plans correlated to 9th through 12th grade standards, hands-on activities, software guided explorations, DVD movie content and assessment tests. Starry Night computer exercises, hands on activities and thought-provoking discussion questions encourage students to explore advanced topics such as the life cycles of stars.

Physics CSI

The Case of the Clumsy Construction Worker (40 min.)
Solve the case involving a toolbox accident by using a motion detector to obtain velocity vs. time graphs for the simulated scene. Use graphical analysis to determine acceleration from graphs. Examine how a lab model simulates a real-life situation and apply the principles of projectile motion to solve the case.

Amusement Park Physics

Labs developed specifically for use of Vernier equipment at Knoebels Amusement Park.

The Phoenix
Topics include acceleration, potential and kinetic energy and conservation of energy.

The Galleon
Topics include centripetal acceleration, barometric pressure- elevation.

The Carousel
Topics include centripetal acceleration, vertical acceleration and graphical analysis.

The Bumper Cars
Topics include electrical work, efficiency, elastic and inelastic collisions.

The Log Flume
Topics include potential and kinetic energy and deceleration.

The Italian Trapeze
Topics include angular speed, period of rotation, tension and centripetal force.

The Skloosh
Topics include potential and kinetic energy and deceleration.

Health Considerations
Topics include pulse, respiration, blood pressure, EKG and symptoms.
Or...customize your own lab using our equipment and expertise!


  • Electronic Balance (Denver Topload and Ohaus Topload-200g max)
  • Gas Chromatographs
  • FTIR (Thunderdome Swap Top IR Module available)
  • Mel-Temp
  • Novell Pressure Plate
  • Genesys 20 visible Spectrophotometer
  • Spectral tube power supply
  • Spectral tubes (Helium, Hydrogen, Krypton, Neon)
  • SpectroVis Visible Spectrometer, Vernier
  • SpectroVis Optical Fiber
  • Genesys 10 UV-vis Spectrophotometer
  • Biotechnology:
  • Mastercycler (PCR)
  • Electrophoresis
  • Power Supply
  • >Electrophoresis Chamber, Horizontal Mini-Gel (Agarose gels)
  • Electrophoresis Chamber, Vertical Mini-Protean Cells (Polyacrylamide gels)
  • Light box

General Laboratory:

  • Alcohol Lamp
  • Blender
  • Centrifuge, microtube
  • Dewar flask (10L and 20L)
  • Dry Heat Incubator (with microtube and culture tube inserts)
  • Hair Dryer
  • Incubator, Labline
  • Magnetic Stirrer (Hot Plate)
  • Magnetic Stirrer (mini)
  • Magnetic Stirrer (Vernier stir station)
  • Mortar and Pestle
  • Ring Stand and Clamps
  • Stop Watch
  • UV light. handheld
  • UV Lamp, large


  • Boreal Digital Microscope (with 6 dedicated laptop computers)
  • Leica CME Compound Binocular Microscope
  • Leica CME Trinocular Microscope
  • Leica Zoom 2000 Stereoscope


  • Blood Pressure Monitor, stand alone digital
  • Reflex Hammer
  • Stethoscope, dual head
  • Pipetting:
  • Micropipetter, 0.5-10 m l
  • Micropipetter, 2-20 m l
  • Micropipetter, 20-200 m l
  • Micropipetter, 100-1000 m l
  • Micropipetter, 1-5 mL

Vernier Probes and Sensors:

  • Barometer
  • Blood Pressure Monitor
  • Carbon Dioxide Gas Sensor
  • Colorimeters
  • Conductivity Probe
  • Dissolved Oxygen Probe
  • EKG Sensor
  • Flow Rate Sensor
  • Gas Pressure Sensor
  • Hand Dynamometer
  • Heart Rate Monitor-Hand Grip
  • Heart Rate Monitor-Exercise Belt
  • Ion Selective Electrode (Ammonium; Calcium; Chloride; Nitrate)
  • Light Sensor
  • ORP Sensor
  • Oxygen Gas Sensor
  • pH Probe
  • Radiation Monitor
  • Relative Humidity Sensor
  • Respiration Monitor
  • Salinity Sensor
  • Soil Moisture Sensor
  • Spirometer
  • Temperature Probe, Stainless Steel
  • Temperature Probe, Surface
  • Turbidity Sensor
  • UVB Probe


  • Laptop computers (Dell) paired with Vernier Lab Pro interface
  • LabQuest
  • Printer
  • Projector

Vernier Probeware:

  • Force Sensors
  • Force Plates
  • Motion Detectors
  • Photogates
  • Light Sensors
  • UVB Probes
  • Microphones
  • Circuit Boards
  • Current Probes
  • Differential Voltage Probes
  • Wireless Dynamics Sensors
  • Accelerometers (low-g, 25-g, and S-axis)


  • 500 g Hooked Masses
  • 1000 g Hooked Masses
  • 0.5N Slotted Weights
  • Harmonic Motion Springs
  • Mass Hangers; 500 g capacity
  • Inclined Planes
  • Friction Blocks/Samples
  • Kinetics Cars
  • Drilled Ball
  • Laser Pointers with stands
  • Pendulum Clamps
  • Atwood Machines
  • GPS Units
  • Jugs Radar Gun
  • Digital Video Camera
  • Angle Finders (Dial Inclinometers)
  • Tuning Forks 256, 426.5 (A), 512 (C)
  • Digital Cameras
  • Starry Night Software with Projector
  • Keyboard
  • Basketballs
  • Power supplies
  • Spectral tube with power supply
  • Spectral tubes (Helium, Hydrogen, Krypton, Neon)
  • Polarizing Lenses