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Is Yeast Alive?

In the lab, Is Yeast Alive?, students evaluate whether the little brown grains of yeast obtained from the grocery store are alive by testing for metabolism and growth.

Download Student Handout: PDF format or Word format

Download Teacher Preparation Notes: PDF format or Word format;

We invite comments on this Hands-On Activity and the accompanying Teacher Preparation Notes, including suggestions for other teachers who are planning to use the activity, useful preparatory or follow-up activities, additional resources or any questions you have related to the activity, or a brief description of any problem you might have encountered. If you have a relevant Word document you would like to have posted on this comments page, such as a version of the protocol you have used in your classroom, or if you would prefer to send your comments or questions in a private message, please write Ingrid Waldron at

See also a complete list of activities:
Hands-on Activities for Teaching Biology to High School and Middle School Students


David Sacks's picture

How to save these docs on to My Google Drive?

Can anyone tell me how to save these docs as needed to my Google Drive?


David Sacks
NYC HS Sci Teacher

Ann Dixon's picture

Saving docs to Google Drive

If you're using Chrome, this web page gives you step by step instructions:

For any browser, though, you can right-click on the link to download the file to your computer, and then upload to Google Drive, taking 2 steps to do it.

Hope this helps,

Michelle Mensinger's picture

Which NGSS for "Is Yeast Alive"

Hello, Could you direct me to where I can find the NGSS alignment for the "Is Yeast Alive"?

Thanks you, Michelle.

iwaldron's picture

NGSS alignment

I have not yet had time to align "Is Yeast Alive?" with NGSS. A yeast activity that is aligned with NGSS is "Alcoholic Fermentation in Yeast – A Bioengineering Design Challenge", available at /sci_edu/waldron/#fermentation. A list of our NGSS-aligned activities available at

Thank you for your interest,

Ingrid Waldron

Serendip Visitor's picture

Somehow the "Is Yeast Alive"

Somehow the "Is Yeast Alive" information has beed infected with spam. Thank you for your work however.

Ann Dixon's picture

Thanks for your concern

Thanks for your concern, but the file has been scanned and is ok. Word macros are not necessarily spam, but nevertheless, I've replaced it with a clean copy. Best wishes!

koesbio's picture

thanks for this great idea

thanks for this great idea really inspires me, i'm biology teacher from the city of Surabaya, Indonesia

J.R.'s picture


Thank you for the idea. I was looking for some activity to illustrate both the characteristics of living beings and the scientific method. With silght adaptations, will use this as a hands-on starter for my "what is life?" unit.

T. M.'s picture

Thank you

Thanks for this idea. I was trying to think of a simple lab to do on the first day of an introductory college biology class. I will modify it slightly for my students, but this seems like a great one for a "quick starter" where students will be able to get going without much advance knowledge, and we can use it as a starting point to discuss things like experimental design, control groups, etc.

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