Toxicity Testing with California Blackworms

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").

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 Original Alcohol activity

115kb-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.

1mb download Revised Revised Alcohol activity

Blackworm Lesson:Using mystery to capture student interest - IT ALSO WORKS WIth Adults

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



Creation Date: January 2001
Last Updated: December 1, 2021