Pre-K Through Fifth Grade

Activities can be facilitated by one of our scientists or engineers right in your classroom. CCDC Chemical Biological Center provides all necessary supplies and tailors instructional materials to highlight Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards

CCDC Chemical Biological Center provides all necessary supplies and tailors instructional materials to highlight Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards
Activities below are listed in alphabetical order. You can use the search bar in the top right corner to narrow the table for your needs. This list is frequently updated so be sure to check back often. If you have any questions, or would like to schedule an activity, contact Casey Weininger – casey.p.weininger.civ@mail.mil.

Activity TitleActivity DescriptionNext Generation Science Standards: Disciplinary Core IdeasRecommended Grade Level
Battery PowerStudents will construct power cells from household materials while learning electrical concepts like conductivity, polarity, voltage, and current. Working in small groups, students will troubleshoot circuit connections while taking voltage measurements with a digital multi-meter.Physical Science, Engineering4th, 5th
Bouyancy - Float or Sink?Buoyancy and density are just a few of the topics demonstrated during this activity. Students explore the buoyancy of different materials in water while learning how density affects an objects ability to float or sink. An aluminum foil boat-building challenge rounds out the lesson.Physical Science; Engineering3rd, 4th
Build a SpectroscopeThis activity guides students through the construction of their own spectroscope using rather simple materials while learning about properties of light like diffraction and refraction. Students will be able to compare the visible spectra produced by different types of lighting sources.Physical Science; Earth and Space Science; Engineering1st through 5th
Chemical ReactionsStudents learn to identify the differences between physical changes and chemical reactions while performing three distinct reactions: acid-base (gas production and color change), catalytic reaction (gas production, heat generation), and polymerization reaction (liquid to semi-solid).Physical Science2nd
Colors of Leaves / Plant PigmentsThis lesson explores the science of Fall colors through a discussion of seasonal changes and observations by students of the varying colors of leaves. Students conduct a hands-on extraction of the pigment chlorophyll from spinach leaves and separate the pigment into several different colors using a technique called chromatography.Life Science1st, 2nd
Crystal SnowflakesDo you know how snowflakes form? In this activity, students are guided through the process of growing Borax crystals in the shape of a snowflake or icicle, while learning about minerals, their structures/shapes, and crystallization.Physical Science; Earth and Space SciencePreK, K
Egg Drop TestStudents will work with a scientist or engineer to design a contraption to protect an egg when dropped. Discussion topics include the science of moving objects, Newton’s 1st, 2nd and 3rd laws of motion, force, acceleration, and inertia.Physical Science; Engineering3rd, 4th
Fun with PolymersStudents will make Gak, Flubber, or Oobleck using household chemicals while learning about polymers and chemical reactions. The activity can be paired with a discussion of the Dr. Seuss book Bartholomew and the Oobleck. Variations on this activity include discussions of different types of plastic polymers and recycling.Physical SciencePre-K, K, 1, 2
How Clean are your Hands?Students will learn the importance of proper hand washing and hygiene by covering their hands with a UV sensitive powder, then washing them and putting their hands under a UV light. They will see how much of the powder remains after they wash their hands. The powder represents germs and will show them how many germs are left on their hands after washing.Life SciencePreK, K, 1st
Magnetic CerealThis activity introduces students to the field of food science through an examination of one of the minerals typically added to foods we eat every day. For example, bread, pasta, and cereals are fortified with iron. Iron plays an important role in the ability of our red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body. A hands-on activity allows students to see the iron that is added to bran cereal and extract it using a magnet.Physical Science; Life Science1st through 4th
Popsicle Stick CatapultsStudents will construct catapults using popsicle sticks, rubberbands, and a plastic spoon. The students will launch objects and measure their distances. They will then look at their designs and make modifications to make objects fly shorter or longer distances.Engineering2nd through 4th
Reverse Engineering - DIY SpeakersStudents are introduced to the role of electricity and magnetism as they “reverse engineer” a standard home audio speaker using simple materials. At the completion of this activity, students will be able to test their “DIY” speakers using a stereo amplifier. Topics include magnetism and sound waves along with a discussion of how the military uses reverse engineering.Physical Science; Engineering2nd through 5th
Spaghetti StructuresIn this activity, students use the Engineering Design Process to construct and test a sturdy structure from dry spaghetti and marshmallows. The integrity of the design is tested by applying weight to the structure.Engineering3rd through 5th
Strawberry DNAThey will use a saltwater/detergent solution to extract DNA from strawberries and will separate the DNA from the cellular debris using rubbing alcohol. A discussion of genetic structure and DNA as a blueprint for life introduces this topic.Life Science2nd through 5th
The Color of ScienceThis activity illustrates the concept of pH as a measure of the strength of an acid or a base. Students will use a red cabbage extract as a pH indicator to test the pH of different substances through a colorimetric (color-changing) reaction.Physical Science4th, 5th
Things that GlowWhy do fireflies have glowing behinds? How do glow-sticks work? Students will investigate these questions while exploring different types of luminescence with demonstrations involving light-producing chemical reactions. UV color changing and glow-in-the-dark bead bracelets are constructed as part of this activity.Physical Science, Life SciencepreK, K, 1st
Water FiltrationStudents will hypothesize the effects of different materials on filtering water. They will assemble a filter using commonly available household materials to see which ones remove the most debris creating the cleanest water.Engineering4th, 5th
Water WheelToday, it is more important than ever to rediscover alternate energy sources. In this activity, students will work in groups to engineer, design, and build a water wheel which can harness the most power from a flowing water source. The resulting water wheels will be evaluated and tested to see which design can lift a weighted object the greatest distance.Engineering3rd through 5th
White Powder ScareStudents are presented with a suspicious scenario involving letters received through the mail that contain white powders. They will have to sample the suspect powders and determine if they have a potential bio-agent or "bad bug” using a colorimetric type test.Life Science3rd through 5th