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Purchasing Lab Supplies for Experience Biology

For any family looking for a robust biology course, hands-on lab assignments are a must—and this involves purchasing supplies.

While most students favorite part of biology, is the labs, it’s not essential that students complete all of the labs. We’ve included instructions and video tutorials for completing 26 labs. We’d recommend your student choose at least 15 of these to complete themselves.

There are a number of ways parents can try to keep the cost of these supplies down.

A Word on Dissections

There’s no replacing the value that comes from a student actually dissecting a specimen and exploring biological structures on their own. However, if the specimens are completely out of budget, students may carefully watch the lab videos provided and glean information from those.

Access to a Microscope

Quite a few of the labs require the use of a microscope.

If you don’t own a microscope, try to borrow one.

  • Some local libraries allow you to check out a microscope to use at home.
  • Check with other homeschool families or local co-ops to see if they have one you could borrow.

If a microscope isn’t available to borrow, and you can’t fit one into your budget, a distant second-best option is to use the images provided in the Experience Biology lab videos and images. For most labs that require a microscope, we will provide you images of what your student would be looking at under a microscope if they had one.

Check out our Home Science Microscope Buying Guide

 

Where to Buy Supplies?

We have worked with Home Science Tools to make purchasing lab supplies as affordable as possible for you. 

Home Science Tools is our preferred lab supply company. They offer some of the best prices on science lab supplies we can find paired with fantastic customer service. They’ve made purchasing easy. You have two options…

1. Purchase the Experience Biology Custom Lab Kit — This kit has all of the specialty items you’ll need to complete all of the labs in the course except the  microscope (see our microscope buying guide for options).  

2. Purchase your supplies a la carte — if you’d prefer to purchase just a few items at a time or you aren’t planning to complete all of the labs for the course, you can use this wish list to find the products you’ll need for the course. Be sure to purchase multiples where indicated on the list below!

  • 2 of the set of 2 test tubes
  • 3 of the set of 2 petri dishes
  • 3 of the set of swab applicators 

 

Special Supplies

Below is a list of supplies you’ll need to purchase from a lab supply company. Alternatively, you can see a list of lab supplies needed listed by lesson on this page

  • Compound microscope
  • Glass slides
  • Glass coverslips
  • Methylene blue
  • Iodine
  • Bromothymol blue
  • Sprig of elodea
  • Safety goggles
  • 5 test tubes
  • Test tube rack
  • Wax pencil
  • 5 Petri dishes with nutrient agar
  • 5 Cotton swabs
  • Amoeba proteus prepared slide
  • Paramecium prepared slide
  • Euglena prepared slide
  • Rhizopus nigricans prepared slide
  • Penicillum prepared slide
  • Monocot leaf c.s. prepared slide
  • Dicot leaf c.s. prepared slide
  • Monocot stem c.s. prepared slide
  • Dicot stem c.s. prepared slide
  • Onion root tip l.s. prepared slide
  • Human skin c.s. prepared slide
  • Preserved worm
  • Preserved sea star and/or sea anemone
  • Preserved clam
  • Preserved crayfish
  • Preserved dogfish shark, injected
  • Preserved fetal pig, injected
  • Dissection tools
  • Dissection pan
  • T-pins

Household Supplies

Below is a list of items need for labs that you will either have around your house or that can easily be acquired from a local store.

  • Typed lowercase e’s (cut out of newspaper, magazine, or printed off of a computer)
  • Small pieces of fabric: cotton, wool, polyester
  • Scissors
  • Toothpicks
  • Mature, healthy plant (english ivy, geranium, or something similar would work well)
  • Black construction paper
  • White paper
  • Paper clips
  • Stove with small pan
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • 6 popsicle sticks
  • Markers (red, blue, yellow, green)
  • Masking tape
  • Mushroom (the edible kind you can by at the grocery store)
  • Iceberg lettuce or leek leaf
  • 2-3 different flowers (gladiola, lily, tulip, or daffodil would all work well)
  • String or twine
  • Ruler
  • Stopwatch
  • Straws
  • Latex or nitrile gloves
  • 50 mL flasks or 2 drinking glasses