Middle School Life Science Teacher Guide


Features 13 core lab activities covering the fundamental concepts of physiology, ecology, plant systems and more

Seasonal Pond Exploration

Lab Summary

Use a pH sensor and temperature sensor to measure temperature and pH over the course of a day in a vernal pond.


In this activity, students investigate conditions of a vernal pool (temporary pond). They collect data using the temperature and pH sensors, then compare and organize their information in simple tables or graphs to identify relationships found in a vernal pond.
Students investigate and observe life existing in a vernal pool while:

  • Understanding that for ecosystems, the major source of energy is sunlight and that energy entering ecosystems as sunlight is transferred by producers into chemical energy through photosynthesis
  • Realizing that the number of organisms an ecosystem can support depends on the resources available and abiotic factors, such as quantity of light and water, range of temperatures, and soil composition
  • Recognizing that substances often are placed in categories or groups if they react in similar ways, such as an acid or base
  • Recognizing that heat can be transferred through a fluid
  • Gaining skills and confidence in using scientific measurement tools—the temperature and pH sensors—as well as graphing capabilities of a computer to represent and analyze data


Students gain experience conducting the following procedures:

  • Making and recording careful qualitative and quantitative observations and notes about a vernal pond
  • Setting up equipment to measure temperature and pH over the course of a day in a vernal pond

Sensors / Equipment Used:

PASPORT Chemistry Sensor


Allows students to measure Temperature, pH/ISE/ORP, Absolute Pressure & Voltage in one sensor. For use with PASPORT Interfaces.

Your Bundle Options:

Option 1:

Middle School Life Science Starter Bundle


The equipment bundle for teaching 11 of the 13 Middle School Life Science Teacher Guide's labs.

Option 2:

Middle School Science Standard Sensor Bundle


This bundle contains the probeware needed to perform all 49 lab activities in the Middle School Science through Inquiry lab manual.

Interface Required

This experiment may require software and an interface for data collection.