Life Science

These lessons explore the natural world of animals, plants and even living things we can’t see, like bacteria! Your learners will engage more deeply with life sciences when you add real-world layers like hands-on building, engineering design challenges, or computer programming.

Lessons marked with an orange gear icon address engineering within the Next Generation Science Standards.

Fruits, Veggies, & Plants
Virtual Field Trip



Storm Shield: What Living Things Need

Grade K

Design and build a shelter to keep animals safe in severe weather.

Lesson: Five 45-minute sessions

Building for Birdie

Grades K-2

Apply knowledge of shapes to build a bird home that is structurally sound.  

Lesson: 60 minutes
Unit: 150 minutes
Activity: 30 minutes

Butterfly Algorithms

Grades K-3

Create a simple algorithm to model the life cycle of a butterfly. Then write this algorithm using conditionals and program it on a computer.

Lesson: 70 minutes

Caution! Wildlife Crossing

Grades 1-5

Build a structure (bridge, tunnel, etc.) to get an animal safely across a road.

Tech at Home Activity: 20+ minutes

Pollinator Pit Stop

Grades 1-5

Create a temporary habitat for a pollinator insect. Put the habitat outside and observe the results over a few days, then iterate on the design.

Educator Guide: 60 minutes (2 sessions, plus observation time)
Activity: 60 minutes; 3–4 days to observe

Animal Rescue

Grades 4-8

Teams gather information and scientific evidence to design a device that will help move endangered animals from one protected area to another.

Lesson: Eight to ten 50-minute sessions

Save the Species Challenge

Grades 7-12

Develop a solution that assists governments in protecting species in designated areas.

Lesson: Four sessions, 60 minutes each


Fruits, Veggies, & Plants

Irrigation Situation

Grades 3-5

Use the design process to create a hillside garden irrigation system that maximizes water efficiency. (Lab Connection: Down the Drain)

Lesson: 90 minutes
Unit: 150 minutes

Save the Fruit

Grades 3-5

Create a device that will harvest fruit from a tree and examine points of failure for iteration.

Lesson: Five 60-minute sessions

No Soil, No Problem

Grades 4-8

Using scientific evidence and knowledge, develop arguments on what plants need for growth.

Lesson: Three to five 60-minute sessions



Dino DNA

Grades 5-12

Examine how traits are handed down through generations by creating hypothetical dinosaurs. (Lab Connection: DNA and Genetics Lab)

Lesson: 30-45 mins

Evolutionary Puzzles

Grades 6-8

Create, organize, and structure data to explore patterns of heredity.(Lab Connection: DNA and Genetics)

Lesson: 60 minutes



Microbes: MicroByre

Grades K-12

Use this video and prompt to spark engagement: What's the smallest living thing you can think of?

Algae String

Grades: 6-8

Design and create colorful string creations from a natural polymer, alginate.

Lesson: 150 minutes
Activity: 2 hours

Making with Microbes

Grades 6-8

Use fermented tea to grow your own unique piece of biomaterial and make something creative with it!

Lesson: Two 30 minute sessions, with 1-3 weeks between


Tech for Tomorrow Virtual Field Trip

Grades K-12

This career-focused virtual field trip takes your students on a road trip through Silicon Valley to meet some of the region’s smartest and most innovative tech experts. Viewers get a sneak peek inside some real-life medical labs, workshops and makerspaces and hear advice about how they can follow their passions to work in tech, too!

Along the way, they’ll get to experience some of our favorite exhibits and make the connection between what we do here and the exciting work of tech engineers and entrepreneurs.

Video: 30 min
Pre and Post activities: 90 min

Watch Virtual Field Trip

Educator Guide