Introduce the principles of toxicology with a lab activity. By exposing blackworms to a toxicant
in varying concentrations, participants collect and analyze data, and witness and discuss concepts - including exposure pathways, nature of effects, acute and chronic exposure, dose-response, and reversible and irreversible effects.
This activity is made available with permission from the Center for Chemical Education at Miami University and has been modified from the "Toxicants and California Blackworms" activity developed by the Center for Chemical Education at Miami University (available as the "original activity").
See the INTRODUCTION TO TOXICOLOGY PowerPoint
This provides background Information for “Toxicity Testing with California Blackworms and Alcohol” activity.
Teacher Guides / Student Worksheets
(In pdf format. Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)
175kb-download Tobacco activity
Toxicity Testing with California Blackworms Using Alcohol
This version is appropriate for middle and high school students and requires a minimum of 1 1/2 hours. Students use lab measurement skills to prepare their own solutions. This version looks more directly at the toxic effect of alcohol on the worms.
Using mystery to capture student interest
The "Mystery" version is more about an environmental situation, using the worms as indicator species, This version is appropriate for upper elementary to middle school students and requires about 45 minutes.The alcohol solutions are made in advance for the students.
Blackworms lesson with mystery download
Student sheet download
Observation sheet download
Adult cheat sheet download