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Powerful practicals toolkit

This toolkit has been produced to help STEM Ambassadors to plan and deliver practical activities for students. It includes guidance, links to useful websites and resources for teachers to use. The toolkit is for both new and experienced STEM Ambassadors and it answers questions they might have about using practical...

Medicine Makers

A hands-on practical activity that illustrates drug-target interactions and  looks at the actions of some common painkillers.

Created by the Biochemical Society and the British Pharmacological Society. Download the resource booklet here.


The search for life on other worlds is one of the most fascinating contexts that science lessons can have. In this guide, several of the resources focus on practical experiments or investigations that link astrobiology to the science curriculum. In all cases, regular scientific concepts such as factors affecting...

Calculating the Mitotic Index of a Growing Root Tip

Produced by Science & Plants for Schools (SAPS), this investigation enables students to investigate the process of mitosis in a growing root tip. The mitotic index is the fraction of cells in a microscope field which contain condensed chromosomes.

In this activity students prepare and stain root tips....

Staining a Root Tip and Calculating Its Mitotic Index

In this practical activity students stain root tips and examine them for signs of cells dividing by mitosis. Students can either compare two different sources of root tip or two different stains. The mitotic index is the fraction of cells in a microscope field which contain condensed chromosomes. This index can be...

Testing the Viability of Yeast

Several different treatments are used to autolyse yeast cells. The viability of the autolysed yeast is then tested by: plating out on agar; testing for dehydrogenase activity; microscopic examination with methylene blue.

In the food industry, yeast is grown in huge fermenters...

Fruit Juice Production

Fruit juice companies use a variety of different treatments and enzymes to maximise their yield. In this experiment students will investigate the effectiveness of these different enzymes.

The enzymes used are designed to break down cells walls and release the liquids and sugars which make up the fruit....

Fungal Inhibition

In this experiment students grow yeast on agar plates and look at the effect on growth of some common anti-fungal treatments, which are available to treat conditions such athlete's foot and thrush.

Antifungal products may be bought from a local pharmacist, for example, Canistan, Daktarin, Diflucan.


Determining Doubling Time

As the number of cells in a microbial culture increases, turbidity increases. In this experiment students calculate doubling time and growth rate constant using absorbance as the measure of growth.

Turbidity is caused by suspended cells in the growth medium scattering light, and may be measured using a...

Determining Dry Weight

This experiment is a continuation of Determining Doubling Time. Students create a standard curve of absorbance against yeast concentration, and use this to determine the concentration of yeast produced over time.

The standard curve (dry mass, grams per litre) is generated from known concentrations of dried...


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