Projects and Lessons

We have carefully curated activities to adhere to NGSS for every grade level.
Contact us with questions, customizations, classroom sets, or anything else you can think of!

These are our favorite, handpicked projects.
To view our full project list, click here.


(1)  Elementary School

A wonderful introduction to the world of science.

The Great Plankton Race!

Using recycled materials, students can build replicas of planktonic organisms to see if they sink or swim! This simple project teaches about evolution, fluid dynamics, and teamwork. 
See it here!


Growing algae in a bottle can be adapted for almost any grade level! Teach your students the basics of photosynthesis, how light affects growth of algae, Adapt this for higher levels by introducing temperature and other limiting factors.
Buy Algae Culture Here
Lesson Plan Here


Teach your students about pollutants that harm plant growth. You can harvest algae from pond water in nature, or use our culture kits! This project can be adapted to any grade level, but depends on observations, the scientific method, and critical thinking.
Culture Kits
Lesson Plan Here


(2) Middle School

Some more complex science for growing minds

Algae Beads

Our algae beads are perfect for studying photosynthesis and cellular respiration! They are durable, keep them in light bright enough to read.
Algae Beads are Linked Here


Lesson Plans- Algae Beads
Laboratory Work Sheets - Algae Beads
Handouts - Algae Beads

1. Variable Light Intensity and Algal Photosynthesis
2. Spectral Tuning and Algal Photosynthesis
3.Temperature and Algal Photosynthesis
4.Surface area and Volume in Algae Photosynthesis
5.Photopigment Extraction and Analysis of Algae

Harmful Algae Blooms 

In learning about harmful algae blooms (HABs) along the coast of Maine, students will learn about the importance of HABs and shellfish poisoning, as well as how these events are studied.
Source Material Here
Worksheet Here

Brainy Briny- Carrying Capacity

An ecosystem in a bottle! Our Brainy Briny kits are perfect for explaining and visualizing carrying capacity. Students can observe how light, space, food, and oxygen impact how many organisms can live in an ecosystem. Students can track growth rates with our chart right on the bottle.

Our Brainy Brainy Kits are Linked Here

Martian Life Support: Algae

Middle School  Science Teacher Haley Roach at  Parke Heritage Middle School in Indiana created these amazing plans to imagine what building a life support system would look like on mars. 

Can your students imagine making oxygen on another planet to breath? 

Go to the Grow Algae on Mars page!


(3) High School

It's time to kick it into higher gear with AP classes

Algae Beads!

Our algae beads can be used for a number of helpful lessons, including photosynthesis and respiration, the relation of pH levels and CO2 in water, gas solubility, and more!
Check out our full algae bead lesson plans here

Harmful Algae Bloms

This experiment allows students to simulate a Harmful Algae Bloom and view how toxins accumulate in shellfish. Explores the concepts of bioaccumulation and biomagnification. 
Lesson Plan

Water Quality

A guided research project from National Geographic. Students will explore water quality, Harmful Algae Blooms, dead zones, and eutrophication.
Lesson Plan


(4) College/ University

Everything budding research scientists need.


Our algae beads are perfect for studying photosynthesis and cellular respiration! They are durable, keep them in light bright enough to read.
Algae Beads are Linked Here


"This the experiment will introduce biology, oceanography, ecology, and environmental biology students to photosynthesis, aquatic productivity, food webs, carbon cycling, alternative fuels, sustainability, and carbon capture methods in a lecture or lab setting."
This simple experiment has boundless applications in exploring aquatic science.
Lesson Plan
Our Isochrysis Culture Kit is linked here.

Brainy Briny

Unlike other brine shrimp culture kits, this kit feeds the zooplankton what they eat in the wild-ALGAE! Simply place the culture flask in a bright place and the light will supply energy to the system. These kits are being used in classrooms all across the US to teach PHOTOSYNTHESIS and RESPIRATION. We include an analytical device called a SECCHI STICK. This Secchi stick measures optical density, which is a way to track biomass. We have a video of it's operation on YouTube (search for Algae Research and Supply Dirty Labcoat series of educational videos) The videos are both serious, and silly.

Our Brainy Brainy Kits are Linked Here


WHICH STRAINS should I use to model  Algae blooms?

To study algae blooms, you need an algae that will reliably grow. All the strains above will do that well. Anabaena, is a blue-green algae and is commonly found in algae blooms in lakes. Chlorella is another freshwater strain, but it is less commonly found as a problem, but it grows very well. Dinoflagellates, Prorocentrum for instance are marine strains, and dinos are commonly part of nearshore blooms. Most strains can be used to model a bloom, pick it and justify using it in your paper by saying that it is easy to grow and from an
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Favorites: Anabaena, Nannochloropsis, spirulina, dinoflagellates, Chlorella


Anabaena variabilis is a filamentous cyanobacterium. It is photosynthetic and can also convert atmospheric nitrogen to ammonia via nitrogen fixation. Anabaena variabilis is great for studying algae blooms and photosynthesis. It is often used for researching the beginnings of multicellular life due to its filamentous characterization and cellular-differentiation capabilities.

Our Anabaena Culture Kit is linked here.


Prorocentrum is a dinoflagellate that is similar to many that cause algae blooms in marine environments.  They are motile and grow well for modeling algae blooms.  


For seawater-based projects, we recommend Nannochloropsis. It is a small and hardy plankter (2 um) that grows very quickly and responds to changes in salinity, nutrients, and toxins with corresponding changes in biomass.

Our Porphyridium Culture Kit is linked here.


Algae Beads!!!

Buy Algae Beads

Algae Beads from Algae Research and Supply is a simple and easy way to perform experiments in the classroom. Our algae beads are made from Chlorella vulgaris (green freshwater algae common across the world and commonly consumed as a nutritional supplement). We concentrate the culture and add sodium alginate in the presence of calcium ions- and POOF- algae beads are born.

These simple and robust beads can be used repeatedly in experiments in the classroom. Store in the refrigerator or leave on your benchtop in light bright enough to read. You do not need to do anything to them for them to stay healthy for weeks.