around obstacles. Brief directions, without background information, are provided for the activities. A list of possible results and conclusions is included.
Price: $16.95 (ISBN 1-56711-178-5). Publisher/supplier: Blackbirch Press. Materials: Available locally.
Project SAFETY for Middle School Science. Houston, Tex.: University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center and Texas Cancer Council, 1993.
Recommended grade level: 6-8. Sun Awareness for Educating Today's Youth contains 3 50-minute lessons designed to increase students' awareness of the incidence and causes of different types of skin cancer and to inform them of steps they can take to lower their chances of getting the disease. The unit also introduces students to other health risks associated with sun exposure, such as aging, cataracts, and immunosuppression. A variety of optional activities is included. For example, students may develop an advertisement on sun safety, look at a globe and discuss the countries with the highest incidence of skin cancer and their relationship to the Equator, or use sun-sensitive paper to test the effectiveness of sunscreens.
The complete unit in a box includes a teacher's guide, 37 slides with graphic photos of individuals with skin cancer, worksheets and handouts (including a risk assessment instrument), a poster, a 15-minute video of physicians and teenagers discussing sun behavior, and assessment materials (pre- and post-tests).
Price: $69.50. Publisher/supplier: University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. Materials: Available locally, or in kit.
EDVO-Kit. West Bethesda, Md.: EDVOTEK, 1995.
Recommended grade level: 8+. What Does DNA Look Like? is a kit containing lab materials and instructions for an easy but dramatic DNA spooling activity. Students layer cold isopropanol on top of a buffer solution containing DNA, place the tip of a glass rod in the solution just below the line separating the 2 solutions, and then twist the rod in a circular motion to spool out and collect the DNA. They also stain the spooled DNA with a methylene blue solution.
The kit, which must be stored in a refrigerator, includes concentrated chromosomal DNA and buffer solutions, as well as pipettes, glass rods, and plastic beakers. It provides 2 paragraphs of background information on DNA spooling, student experimental procedures, and guidelines for the teacher. Some additional materials are required, such as graduated cylinders, test tubes, isopropanol, and distilled water. The kit is designed for 30 students working in groups of 2 or 3.
Price: $37. Publisher/supplier: Sargent-Welch/VWR Scientific. Materials: Available locally, from commercial suppliers, or in kit.
Newton, Kans.: Young Naturalist, 1990.
Recommended grade level: 6-8. Using What Seed Is It?, students explore the importance of tree seeds. During the 7 hands-on activities in this kit, students chart the complete development of a seed and discover the different means of seed dispersal. They observe and record the sprouting of seeds, use a dichotomous seed key to identify unknown seeds that come in the kit, learn to distinguish between fruits and seeds, and collect and identify seeds from their own neighborhood.
The kit contains 13 identified tree-seed specimens, 26 unidentified tree-seed specimens (2 each of the identified specimens), a seed key for identifying the unknown seeds, a packet of alfalfa seeds, and a teacher's guide. The specimens provided are the actual tree fruits with the seeds enclosed inside the fruit. The types of tree fruits in the kit include nuts, berries, pods, wings, and cones.
Price: $25.95. Publisher/supplier: Young Naturalist. Materials: Available from Young Naturalist.
EDVO-Kit. West Bethesda, Md.: EDVOTEK, 1995.
Recommended grade level: 8+. Whose DNA Was Left Behind? is a kit containing lab materials and instructions for an activity that shows students how DNA fingerprinting technology works and how scientists and police use this technology to identify a suspect from evidence left behind at a crime scene. Students load simulated DNA samples (dyes) from a murder scene and simulated DNA samples from 2 suspects into an agarose gel. Then they run the samples through an electrophoresis apparatus and analyze the resulting fragments for particular patterns. When students read and analyze the simulated DNA gel fragments, they are able to determine the correct suspect in a murder case. The objective of the experiment is to demonstrate that each person has a unique pattern within his or her DNA. To do the activity, students need some knowledge of what DNA is and what it does.
This activity takes about 100 minutes (or less, if the buffers and gels