This two-part classroom activity comes with six distinct species of sponges, each with a unique spicule type. Each kit has enough tissue for approximately 80 students working in pairs. Includes a written procedure for set-up and teacher preparation, along with a student worksheet and key. The lab requires only simple lab tools (tweezers, microscope, and slides) and household bleach.
This product will support your students' understanding of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)*, as shown in the table below.
Suggested Science Idea(s)
Young students will benefit from the identification activities; however the process that breaks down the sponge requires the use of bleach. It is recommended that the instructor perform this part of the lab.
Students can use the Sponge Spicule Lab Kit to analyze and interpret data from an investigation to provide evidence that animals have traits inherited from parents and that variations of these traits exist in a group of similar organisms.
Students can use the Sponge Spicule Lab Kit to construct an argument that animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.
Students can use the Sponge Spicule Lab Kit to apply ideas to construct an explanation for the anatomical similarities and differences among modern organisms and between modern and fossil organisms to infer evolutionary relationships.
Students can use the Sponge Spicule Lab Kit in an investigation to construct an explanation based on evidence that describes how genetic variations of traits in a population increase some individuals' probability of surviving and reproducing in a specific environment.
During the process when the exterior sponge structures interacts with bleach, students can analyze and interpret data on the properties of substances before and after the substances interact to determine if a chemical reaction has occurred.
Students can use the Sponge Spicule Lab Kit to model the hierarchical organization of interacting systems that provide specific functions with multicellular organism.
Students can use the Sponge Spicule Lab Kit to identify anatomical structures, showing common ancestry and biological evolution.
During the process when the exterior sponge structures interacts with bleach, students can develop a model to illustrate that the release or absorption of energy from a chemical reaction system depends upon the changes in total bond energy.
Sponges are ancient organisms. This kit allows students opportunities to break down the exterior structures to uncover the 'skeletons' or hard support structures called spicules. The kit includes six distinct species of sponges, each with a unique spicule type. Students can develop their own dichotomous key based on the characteristics of the spicules. The process that breaks down the sponge includes using bleach, which may not be an appropriate activity for young students. It is certainly an exciting investigation for older students: chemical applications in the process.
Students can make measurements of the sponge materials before and after the sponges are immersed in the bleach solution.
* NGSS is a registered trademark of Achieve. Neither Achieve nor the lead states and partners that developed the Next Generation Science Standards were involved in the production of, and do not endorse, this product.