As we all adjust to new health recommendations and wellness practices we may be finding ourselves at home much more than ever before. Here at the IGB we want to connect with communities both locally in Urbana-Champaign and across the globe. We will be posting fun and educational activities or suggestions to help enjoy this time together and to engage with each other, and to provide some opportunities to learn something new, experiment with a fresh idea, or just be curious.
Below you can find a collection of activities from our daily post.
Build a Flower
Plants with flowers depend on certain types of animals, called pollinators, to help spread their pollen from flower to flower. These can be bees, butterflies, birds, all types are attracted to those new Springtime flowers. We're going to design a flower and think about the kinds of pollinators that might visit us! Download the activity here.
Crack the Code
A tricky activity about DNA, RNA, and proteins, where you'll play the part of a biological deciphering machine called a ribosome. Read through our special codon wheel and decipher a secret message about coronavirus. Download a packet here that has instructions, background info on the science, and the code to be cracked. The answer is on the last page so no skipping ahead!
Here's your chance to use all the new words you've been learning about when we talk about COVID-19, and the ways we can help keep the disease from spreading. You can download a copy to print and fill out, or you can do it on your screen if you like that better. If you're really stumped you can also get a copy of all the answers here, but do you really need it? We don't think you do.
DNA Coloring Sheet
Want to bring some color into this DNA drawing? Download a PDF of our DNA coloring sheet. To learn more about DNA and genomics, check out our video from the World of Genomics at the bottom of this page.
Here's a fun and challenging paper folding activity - fold a DNA structure! There are two templates available here, a color version and a black and white if you'd like to color everything in, with instructions. DNA not included but you absolutely have some at home.
How Do I Compare To A Bat?
For activity leaders, a detailed lesson plan for a suite of activities called "How Do I Compare to a Bat?" that has several options to try out over time, or even in a small group.
I Spy DNA
Anything that is alive, or was once alive, or was a part of a living thing, has some DNA in it. Do you think you could spot all the items in a picture that have DNA? Download a copy of our I Spy DNA activity and give it a try! There are bonus challenges too, but stay away from the last page until you're ready for answers. If you just want a really big version of the picture you can get there here.
Make a Tiny Zine
Zines are small-circulation self-published booklets. They allow for voices of all volumes to publish and share their experiences! So why not share your experience with your own tiny zine, instructions and a photo guide available here.
Observing Like a Scientist and an Artist
Sometimes there is a whole world to explore right in front of us, ways to stimulate our brain and examine our surroundings that we've never thought about before. With that idea in mind, let's make new discoveries by observing like a scientist and an artist! Go outside in your backyard and find a leaf and follow these directions.
Here's a fun scavenger hunt that you can do inside your own house ... but instead of a list of items, we've provided clues instead. Figure out the clues and hunt them down! Scavenger Hunt is available here and the answers are on the second page so no peeking.
We can do our own investigation into how an infection, like COVID-19, can be spread among people. Scientists use powerful computers and special software to make predictions just like this, but we can do our own experiment with objects already in your house. Download our Social Squares activity and get started!
Strawberry DNA Extraction
Extract actual DNA from a strawberry ... oooo .... this is definitely a group activity that you'll need some help and supervision with from an older family member or friend, so find a science partner, download a copy of the activity, and get that DNA!