Spooky Science~ Interactive and Engaging Activities for Halloween

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Looking for a cute idea for high school science students at Halloween? How about turning your lab into a morgue? 🙂 Last year at Halloween, the science teachers (and me, of course 🙂 ) decided to make it “Spooky Science” Day at our school.  We turned our labs into  science-themed Halloween activities.  Since it’s often difficult to think of activities that will engage the average high school student at Halloween, I thought I’d share what we did.  IMG_0647

The Morgue

In our school, we have separate labs for Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.  Because we didn’t require any water for this activity, we set up the Biology lab as our “morgue”.  There is a short hallway leading into the lab so we utilized this space to set the stage for their forensic case.  We wrote the background story on bulletin board paper and stretched it the length of this hall.  Students read this as they were waiting to enter the lab. For some reason, I don’t have a pic of this (lol shocking, I know right? :)), but here is the story:

Every year on Hallow’s Eve, the death toll in our town rises.  It is said that the ghost of the Halloween crewman comes to revenge his death.  While the school was under construction, the crew noticed that one of their own had not shown up for work in a couple of days.  The last time he was seen, he was helping pour the foundation for the science labs……..

These are the latest victims in our town.  Could there be a connection??????

Because all of the science teachers were involved in the Spooky Science Day (there are 6 plus me), we had to combine classes when we took them into the lab.  The teachers explained to their students that they would be working with another class so we created groups based on their last name.  IMG_0635

For the submission of their theory of the death they were investigating, we stretched white bulletin board paper across the front lab tables and secured them with tape.  The groups submitted their theories by writing them directly on the big paper.  IMG_0646

 

Students were divided into 2 large groups, either A or B (on opposite sides of the lab).  The lab was set up with skeletal remains under each sheet.  There were 4 victims, 2 on each side of the lab, as well as a disarticulated skeleton for each group.  Students within the large groups (A or B) were divided into 2 smaller groups and each student group was assigned a victim.  Before students left the lab, they had to supply their “theory” of the crime, as well as assemble the remains.  Here are some pictures of each “victim” and the victim profile that was included with each one.

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IMG_0716It was an awesome lab that would be appropriate for Forensics, Anatomy, or Biology classes.  All students really needed was a basic knowledge of bones and their imaginations 🙂 The students had a blast!

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The Mad Scientist’s Lab

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The Chemistry lab was a fun place on Spooky Science Day!  Lots of fire… Lots! 🙂 This picture is of lighting methane bubbles.  We also played with dry ice.

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And set pumpkins ablaze in several different colors (We put alcohol in the pumpkins and then added copper sulfate or borax (for green flame), lithium chloride (for red flame), and potassium chloride (for purple flame).

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Here are some other pictures from around the Mad Scientist’s Lab

 

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Plain soda water fluoresces like this with a black light 🙂

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Did you know there is a brand of regular colored copy paper that is also an indicator?  So cool!!! We wrote on it with a candle (or a white crayon), wiped it with diluted ammonia on a cotton ball, and viola!

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This is the only brand of copy paper I know that will do this (and it has to be this color too).

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I hope this might give you some cute ideas for Halloween.  I’m not sure who had more fun, the students or us!  (Our shirts were glow-in-the-dark which was even cooler in the Chemistry lab!)

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Another place to find cute Halloween science activities:

http://freyscientific.wordpress.com/2012/10/12/use-chemistry-to-make-your-halloween-look-awesome/

 

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About Edgy Instruction

Science Teacher (Biology, AP Biology, and Forensic Science), Anatomy Professor, and former Instructional coach.
This entry was posted in T.I.P Theory Into Practice, Teaching and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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