Micropipetting: Measuring and moving small volumes

In this lesson, students will engage in activities to teach them the proper way to use a micropipette and familiarize themselves with commonly used metric units and measurements. Students will use X-Y coordinates and colored liquids to generate ‘pipette art’ and test their precision by pipetting specified volumes. Additional lab activities to reinforce these concepts include a card sort, writing activities and a “Roy, Gee, and Biv’s Challenge”. These can be found under ‘Supplemental Materials’.

In the online version of this lesson, students learn about micropipetting by engaging with a series of videos and simulations and practice reading the volume settings on different sized micropipettes.

Learning Objectives

  • Accurately and precisely measure small volumes, in metric units of microliter, using a micropipette

Prior Knowledge

  • Familiarity with the following concepts may be helpful for students prior to using the lesson resources.
  • Metric scale for volumetric units (liter, milliliter, and microliter)
  • Usefulness of working with small volumes in a forensics or basic research setting

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Disciplinary Core Ideas:

LS1.A – Structure and Function
“All cells contain genetic information in the form of DNA molecules”

Science and Engineering Practices:

Constructing Explanations

Crosscutting Concepts:

Scale, Proportion and Quantity

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Paradise Valley HS
Phoenix, AZ

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Burton HS
San Francisco, CA

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Gianne Souza
Lincoln HS
San Francisco, CA

The online resources are SO well done! The best I have ever had. Very little modification to make them clear and easy to follow. I have done two BABEC lessons and they are so well made that they made teaching online fun again.

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Burlingame HS
Burlingame, CA

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Glenbrook South HS
Glenview, IL

Well organized and scaffolded; flexible structure and can be used partially or as a whole. This unit can be used as is...superbly written and thought out...incorporates many skills and allows student collaboration and student choice/voice.

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South San Francisco HS
South San Francisco, CA

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San Bruno, CA

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