Texas Tech University

Traveling Labs

Traveling Lab Van

CISER delivers fully equipped and supplied STEM activities to elementary, middle, and high school classrooms across Lubbock and the South Plains. Listed below are the current traveling labs offered this academic year.

Available Labs

Biotechnology - DNA Electrophoresis

Bring current biotechnology to the science classroom. Our Biotechnology Traveling Lab offers 3 different options for the science classroom. All three options contain many of the same activities such as extracting DNA, building DNA models and conducting forensic analysis of DNA fragments from gel pictures. When requesting this lab, teachers must indicate which one of the three options they prefer:

  1. Crime Scene – Bring CSI to the classroom as a means to help students better understand DNA and its uses in society. The teacher sets up a crime scene and students run DNA samples to determine the guilty suspect. DNA simulating a victim and 3 suspects is provided.
  2. Forensic Analysis: King Tut – the newest addition to the biotechnology labs. Using clips from the amazing new video, King Tut Unwrapped, students will unravel mysteries surrounding this young pharaoh. Through DNA electrophoresis lab activities, students will determine which pharaoh was King Tut's father, in addition to determining the relationship of King Tut to other mummies. Students learn about the mummification process and perform an intriguing "preservation experiment." They will also engage in math activities with bone ratios and building tools, a geocaching activity involving hieroglyphics and completion of a pedigree chart for King Tut. DNA will be provided for two activities:
    1. Who is Tut's Father?
    2. Mitochondrial DNA Question.

Optional Equipment: None

Body Systems - Case by Case: An Investigation of Human Body Systems

Engage students in a role-playing activity to learn about the eleven body systems. As interns, they study the symptoms of assigned patients in an emergency room setting. Students are challenged to determine which diagnostic tests to run, in addition to learning the normal values for each of these tests. Activities include blood typing (artificial blood), lung function testing, blood pressure monitoring, bone dissection, suture technique and examination of X-rays. At the conclusion of the lab, each student group gives a presentation, explaining their patient's symptoms, diagnostic test results, and prognosis.

Optional Equipment: Compound Microscope & Light Microscope

Elementary Investigation of Weddell Seals

This teacher's manual compiles multiple interactive lessons and activities for students grades 3 – 5. Students will learn about Weddell seals living within the Ross Sea, Antarctica. All lessons have associated PowerPoints as well as a short video that can be used in place of the PowerPoint. In Lesson i: Introduction to Antarctica, students will become familiar with this extreme environment, how animals are adapted to survive in Antarctic conditions, and about the careers needed for the community and research facility in Antarctica to thrive. In Lesson 1: Mapping Antarctica, students become acquainted with the geography of the world and significant geographic features of the Antarctic continent. Lesson 2: Antarctic Food Web helps students construct the complex food web of the Ross Sea and teaches them about producers, consumers, and the multiple levels of trophic interactions within the Ross Sea. In Lesson 3: Diving Behavior of Weddell Seals, students will learn how scientists analyze dive behavior data from Weddell seals and practice constructing hypotheses about the patterns found in the data. Lesson 4: Weddell Seal Measurements walks students through the set of measurements scientists take on Weddell seals in the field. Within this lesson, students are challenged to practice taking these measurements on a model seal and analyze data from past field seasons. Combined, these engaging lessons complete 12 TEKS for the 3rd grade (10 science, 2 social studies), 11 TEKS for the 4th grade (all science), and 12 TEKS for the 5th grade (all science).

Optional Equipment: None

Elementary School Earth Science: Igneous is Bliss

Working to further expand our elementary resources, this kit contains lessons applicable to a number of different Earth Science TEKs. Students will have the opportunity to observe erosion in real time through the use of the stream table. They will also investigate other agents of erosion with the Glaciers, Wind, Waves, & Rain activity. Two lessons will cover topics dealing with natural disasters as they will mimic landslides and model exploding volcanoes. In addition, they will find themselves predicting the organisms which produced the fossils included in the kit as well as searching your classroom for examples of natural resources during the natural resource scavenger hunt. Additional activities included in the kit cover topics pertaining to soil investigation and composition as well as the solar system.

Optional Equipment: Goggles & Meter Sticks

Elementary School Electronics

Students practice building circuits using light bulbs, speakers, or motors. Students identify and discuss key circuit vocabulary through inquiry-based activities and games. The kit concludes with an Evaluation activity during which your students "interview" for a position at CISER Electronics!

Optional Equipment: None

Elementary School Force & Motion

Make physics concepts related to force and motion come alive in your classroom with this lab. Students will design their own experiments to test the effects of angles and mass on a car and ramp system. Observations about marble and ramp systems will also be made.

Optional Equipment: None

Green Engineering PBL

Assign students the task of finding a greener method for cleaning a contaminated water source to meet EPS drinking-water standards. In this project-based-learning application, students design systems to remove colloids, larger particles and microbes from polluted water. Activities guide them through an understanding of applications, but they are charged with designing a system and adding a green element. Equipment includes an industrial quality stirring apparatus (industrial quality used at water treatment plants), an incubator, agar plates, pipettes, UV light apparatus, and chemicals including bleach and alum. Teachers will need to provide sand, gravel, rocks and 3-L soda bottles for filters.

Optional Equipment: Incubator

It's Elemental! (Chemistry)

Students learn about elements, compounds and the basics of the Periodic Table in this investigative laboratory series. Students test nine common household substances to determine the composition of a "mystery mixture" of two of the substances. Students will analyze the compounds for elements and learn about the chemical formula and its meaning. Students build atoms from the nucleus up and gain understanding of reactivity, simple bonding, and shared element group characteristics through interactive class activities. Finally, students take on the role of scientist and learn to identify elements based on density, and then how to categorize metals, nonmetals, and metalloids on the basis of appearance, malleability, conductivity, and reactivity.

Optional Equipment: Goggles

Microscopy - Tiny is Mighty

The Tiny is Mighty lab covers high school Biology TEKS §112.34 (A, B, and C). The lab is split into three parts. Part one completes TEKS §112.34 (A) and teaches students how to compare and contrast eukaryotes and prokaryotes. It includes a brief introduction to cell theory, endosymbiotic theory, a student lab that introduces light microscopes, and a gram staining lab among other hands on activities. Part two completes TEKS §112.34 (B), which is focused on cellular processes. Included in part two is an introduction to homeostasis, a role play activity with positive and negative feedback loops, a blood sugar lab, and a modeling activity about different diffusion methods. Part three completes TEKS §112.34 (C) and is focused on viruses. Included in part three is a create your own virus activity, a comparison of bacteria to viruses, a research activity on common viruses, an introduction to antibiotics (including an introduction to antibiotic resistance and monoclonal antibody production) as well as a Kirby Bauer Antibiotic Resistance lab, and an infection game that utilizes acid-base chemistry to demonstrate contagion of viruses.

Optional Equipment: Compound Light Microscopes & Incubator

Middle School Earth Science: Geology Rocks

Students explore and study several different components of Earth Science through hands on experiments and activities. This kit includes six different interactive lessons that range from studying erosion and deposition through the use of a stream table to learning about topography with our 3D models. All lessons include real world examples and applications and are TEKs specific. Additional lab titles included in this kit are Erosion: Glaciers, Wind, and Waves, Chemical and Mechanical Weathering, Thermal Energy: Producing Currents and Winds, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

Optional Equipment: Goggles & Meter Sticks

Middle School Earth Science: Not My Fault

This kit contains six lessons that allow students to discover how movement of the Earth's crust can contribute to the formation of different landforms as well as cause natural disasters. Student's will also take a closer look at the rocks and minerals that make up Earth's crust. All lessons include real world examples and applications and are TEKs specific. Student activities range from charting earthquakes in real time in order to recognize their occurrence along plate boundaries to identifying 15 different unknown minerals. Additional lab titles highlight the following topics: plate tectonics, the formation of mountains via folding and faulting, the rock cycle, and orbits.

Optional Equipment: None


Students will begin their study of optics with an investigation of Snell's Law. They will then use lenses and mirrors to learn about different focal lengths and magnification while they design their own bat signal projector. Next, they will explore different lens types as they build their own telescope. This new lab will also provide an introduction to the electromagnetic spectrum and star spectra. Relating their study of optics to anatomy, students will become an optometrist for the day and discuss how optical disorders of the eye are corrected with lenses. Finally, students will investigate the interference of light by building a Michelson Interferometer and investigate actual data captured by The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO).

Optional Equipment: Meter Sticks

PASCO Equipment

Choose from our large selection of PASCO sensors and Explorer GLX's. This equipment is checked out on a "piece-by-piece" basis rather than being bundled together in a trunk. All teachers who have received PASCO training with us are eligible to check out this equipment. We are currently making a complete inventory of our equipment and will post the information. Teachers will be able to individualize their requests for the equipment by indicating which sensors and probeware they want.

Optional Equipment: None

Plants - The Spectrum

This newly redesigned lab looks at plant adaptations both macroscopically and microscopically. The germination requirements of Arabidopsis thaliana are investigated along with NPK values of soils and commercial fertilizers. Digital spectrophotometers are used to determine the absorption spectrum of chlorophyll and accessory pigments. Students are challenged to evaluate promotional claims about "all natural" herbal remedies and the new microscopy protocol enables students to view plant tissue without the fuss of a microtome or multiple stains. Students learn how to write a taxonomic key and then use one to determine the names of gymnosperms.

Optional Equipment: Plant Light

Water Chemistry – new high school updated TEKS specific lab coming soon!

Coming Soon