Name Summary Concepts Covered Time

Introduction to Cell Biology

 

Students perform a range of investigations designed to teach them about cell biology. Activities include observing cell structure using microscopes and computer-based apps, simple biochemical tests, osmosis studies using cultured cells, diffusion and optimal cell shape and making time-lapse movies of cells dividing. Aligns to the following Australian National Curriculum elements:

  • Cells are the basic units of living things and have specialised structures and functions (ACSSU149) (Yr 8)
  • Science knowledge can develop through collaboration and connecting ideas across the disciplines of science (ACSHE226) (Yr 8)
  • Identify questions and problems that can be investigated scientifically and make predictions based on scientific knowledge (ACSIS139) (Yr 8)
  • Multi-cellular organisms rely on coordinated and interdependent internal systems to respond to changes to their environment (ACSSU175) (Yr 9)
Cell biology, cell structures, biochemical, diffusion and osmosis, mitosis and cell division, microscopy.

1 day (4.5hrs)

or by arrangement

(Junior Secondary)

A World in a Drop of Water

Students learn the basics of how to use a microscope, including the parts of the microscope, how to make a wet preparation, how the optics of the microscope turns around the specimens you are looking at and the amazing array of life to be found in a drop of pond water. Aligns to the following Australian National Curriculum elements:

  • Living things have structural features and adaptations that help them to survive in their environment (ACSSU043) (Yr 5)
  • The growth and survival of living things are affected by the physical conditions of their environment (ACSSU094) (Yr6)
     
Microscope components and function, care and proper use of microscopes, wet preparations, simple optics, freshwater biology (can also include examination of onion cells under the microscope, simple osmotic experiments for older students)

1 day (4.5hrs)

or by arrangement

Upper primary

DNA Workshop

Students use household products to extract DNA from a strawberry. They then perform a simulated DNA profile (using real electrophoresis equipment) to solve a simple crime.  Aligns to the following Australian National Curriculum elements:

  • Science involves testing predictions by gathering data and using evidence to develop explanations of events and phenomena (ACSHE081) (Yr5-6)
  • Scientific knowledge is used to inform personal and community decisions (ACSHE217) Yr5-6)
  • With guidance, plan appropriate investigation methods to answer questions or solve problems (ACSIS086)
DNA, safe measurement and use of chemicals, DNA profiles

1 day (4.5hrs)

or by arrangement

Upper primary

Who Stole the Lollypops ?

In the first session of this program, students investigate a simulated crime scene. They collect evidence such as fibres, a written note and DNA, as well as lifting and analysing fingerprints left at the scene. In the SPARQ-ed laboratory, the students use paper chromatography to analyse the ink on the note, microscopy to analyse the fibres left at the scene and perform a simulated DNA profile on the DNA evidence collected from the scene. Putting these pieces of evidence together, they then determine "Who stole the lollypops?". Aligns to the following Australian National Curriculum elements:

  • Science involves testing predictions by gathering data and using evidence to develop explanations of events and phenomena (ACSHE081) (Yr5-6)
  • Scientific knowledge is used to inform personal and community decisions (ACSHE217) Yr5-6)
  • With guidance, plan appropriate investigation methods to answer questions or solve problems (ACSIS086)
Basic concepts of forensic science, fingerprints (collection and analysis), microscopy (care and proper use of the microscope, making wet preparations), paper chromatography, DNA and DNA profiles

1 day (4.5hrs)

or by arrangement

Upper primary or Jnr secondary

Little Things Matter

Students make predictions about locations where microbes are likely to be found in the environment and then test a range of anti-microbial products by culturing swabs taken before and after treatment with the products. Cultures are incubated in the SPARQ-ed laboratory and then examined by the students to evaluate the effectiveness of the treatments. Aligns to the following Australian National Curriculum elements:

  • Science involves testing predictions by gathering data and using evidence to develop explanations of events and phenomena (ACSHE081) (Yr5-6)
  • Scientific knowledge is used to inform personal and community decisions (ACSHE217) Yr5-6)
  • With guidance, plan appropriate investigation methods to answer questions or solve problems (ACSIS086)
Microbiology, hygiene and sanitation, microscopy (care and proper use of the microscope).

1 day (4.5hrs)

or by arrangement

Upper primary or Jnr secondary