Materials & Suppliers

The following is a list of materials for each of the lessons. These are, for the most part, the same materials lists as in the lessons themselves. Having it all in one place allows you to see at a glance if you have or can get the materials necessary BEFORE you commit to learning about or applying a new lesson.

Urchin Kit

Many of the lessons use the "Urchin Kit" which consists of the following:

  • 0.5M potassium chloride solution (3.7grams of KCL in 100ml of distilled water)
  • sea water (or Instant Ocean, or artificial sea water)
  • fertile sea urchins
  • 1-5cc syringe with #25-#30 needle
  • plastic or glass pasteur pipets or eyedroppers
  • small tubes to store sperm (micro-centrifuge tubes work great) (1-5 milliliters)
  • beakers a little smaller in diameter than the diameter of female urchins
  • computer to show animations
  • microscopes
  • Optional - chloramphenicol for long term storage of eggs (30 micrograms/ml) in sterile sea water.
  • Optional - video microscopy setup (see Video Microscopy)
  • Overhead to show transparencies (see Supplemental Material)
If possible use glassware that has never be exposed to soap or detergent as even the smallest amount can disrupt development.
  • Urchin Kit
  • incubator to store developing embryos at desired temperature (see below)
  • Urchin Kit
  • sumi ink - an ink used in Asian countries for calligraphy. Available in most art stores.
  • Urchin Kit
  • Urchin Kit
  • incubator to store developing embryos at desired temperature (see below)
  • Urchin Kit
  • incubator to store developing embryos at desired temperature (see below)
  • "Toxins" - students choose, but could be household materials (Clorox, paint, oil, etc)
  • Environmental Conditions - heat, light, cold, pH, etc.
Ideas for an Incubator for Temperature Studies and Culturing Embryos
  • go to a garage sale and get a used refrigerator. turn the temperature to the warmest setting. This usually works out to about 15C, perfect for a lot of urchins.
  • make an "aquarium heater" incubator to be stored in your refrigerator. use this technique if you cannot dedicate a refrigerator for the "warmer" temperature. Simply purchase a thick Styrofoam box or cooler and put a small 25 watt aquarium heater inside supported to be away from the walls. adjust the thermostat until you get the desired temperature (this will take some time so don't wait until the last moment!). The thicker the Styrofoam the smaller the aquarium heater needs to be and the less strain on your refrigerator.
  • Sea urchin sperm
  • Refrigerator
  • "Toxins" - students choose, but could be household materials (Clorox, paint, oil, etc)
  • Environmental Conditions - heat, light, cold, pH, etc.
  • microscopes
  • one depression slide with a cover slip or a regular slide with 3 cover slips
  • Urchin Kit or other live/prepared material
  • microscopes
  • prepared slides or living material
  • overhead projector
  • printout of "figure" from lesson
  • The Game Cards -- There is one for sexual and one for asexual. These can be enlarged or projected easily. Print the cards onto a transparency material to use with an overhead.
  • The "Genes" - The various phenotypes are represented by a "cast of characters". A character sheet is provided so you can make the many game pieces you will need.
  • Scenarios - print these out and use as is or adapt to help make the point you are trying to get across.
  • Overhead Projector to either do or demo.
  • ability to make empty space in classroom
  • overhead or chalkboard
  • computer to show animation
  • "Classic Coke" - one can per lab group (they will sample it I'm sure)
  • ice in a Styrofoam container.
  • water to make dilutions with
  • graduated cylinder (10 ml will work fine)
  • clean test tubes (16x100 work great), 8 for each lab group

Spectrophotometer parts

(the spectrophotometer has the potential of being shared with the chemistry classes and used to measure other reactions like enzyme kinetics or bacteria/yeast growth)
  • pkg of 5 photocells - Radioshack #276-1657, $2.29/pkg
  • digital multimeter - Radioshack #22-166, $39.99 ea
    instructor may want the Radioshack #22-168 at $129.99 ea, as this will interface with a computer that can then be projected onto a television with the proper adaptor.
  • Black foam core board from an art supply store
  • black tape - black 3M #235 photographers tape works best, but duct tape will also work
  • Blue filter - suggest filter pack from Edmund Scientific #A60,373 $16.75 This will give plenty of material to be cut up for class use in this lessons and others.
  • Light source - can be a microscope lamp, large flashlight, direct sunlight, etc.
  • one small package of assorted food colors for each lab group. (Larger size bottles should be purchased for refills for future classes.)
  • a light table, students working in groups of 2. (A sheet of translucent white plastic over a sunlit window works great!)
    use the spectrophotometers from the Simple Dilution lesson, students working in groups of 4-5
  • set of colored filters (Edmund Scientific #A60,373 $16.75), colored cellophane, or colored transparencies. Make sure they have several colors, so they are forced to make a choice.
  • set of 10 clean test tubes of the same size & test tube rack
  • set of unknowns made up ahead of time, dilute but still showing visible color. Too high a concentration and the students may think they have solved the problem too easily.
  • graduated cylinders (10ml) and eye droppers
  • water, paper towels, etc. This lab can be messy!
  • See Spectrophotometer in Simple Dilution lesson plan. Use the same blue filter for measuring sperm concentration.
  • hemacytometer - Fisher Scientific #02-671-10 $96
  • Urchin Kit
  • test tubes (to hold 10 ml)
  • plastic pipets calibrated to hold 1 ml (E&K Scientific #500025 pkg/1000 ~$18)
  • 10 ul Wiretrol - Fisher Scientific #21-175B pkg/100 $15.25
  • paper, pencils, overhead projector and overhead
  • optional, timer

Look at individual topics. These ideas all interrelate and it would be hard here to give a good list of materials needed.

Some links may be outdated. We hope to update them soon.
Rochester, NY
(800) 962-2660
Sea Urchin Embryology Set #88 W 9030 $75 + shipping
Sea Urchin Embryology Accessory Kit #88 W 9031 $33
Burlington, NC
(800) 334-5551
Sea Urchin Embryology Set #P7-16-2500 $64.95
Sea Urchin Embryology Kit # P7-16-2505 $81.70
Escondido, CA
(760 918-6909)

Garden Grove, CA
(714) 901-9700
Panacea, FL
Woods Hole, MA
(508) 548-3705
Prices are usually $2-3 per animal plus shipping.
Aquarium & Food Supplies
(800) 303-7914
For isocrysis micro algae paste, the "Tahitian Blend"
is recommended. A 35ml vial is more than enough.
(888) 842-8738
Several labs at HMS use this place.
East Boothbay, ME
Rhodomonas salinaCCMP1319
Sand City, CA
(831) 394-0828
West Palm Beach, FL
(800) 652-6733
Surplus motors: one or two "C" size batteries will run them at a slow enough speed to keep cultures in motions without hurting the embryos. The motors are ~$5 ea, so you can afford to have several set up.
near San Francisco, CA
For motors. Recommended to us, but not checked out.
Chemicals & Science Stuff
(800) 325-3010
Choline ChlorideC1879
Potassium GluconateG4500
Magnesium Chloride, 2M stock104-20
(4.9 M stock solution)
KEGTA (pH6.6) 0.2M stockE3889
Triton X100X-100
Ampicillin (sodium salt)A0166
(800) 766-7000
100 micron Nitex mesh3-100/47
Transfer Pipets 
Saratoga Springs, NY
(518) 880-6980
Swedesboro, NJ
(833) 544-7447
Transfer Pipets500025
(see above, under "Urchins") (see above, under "Urchins")
Microscope Stuff
(831) 394-0828
Great microscope lights! Check out the Mike Lites.
They make a nice field microscope kit:
Only one magnification at a time, but solidly built at a good price, sharp and adaptable. Prices can be seen at:
Electron Microscopy Sciences
Woodland, CA
Easley, SC
For adapters.

An Atlas of the Development of the Sea Urchin,
by John Morill, New College of Florida

An incredible CD containing a 143 page PDF of sea urchin
development using Light Microscopy, SEM, TEM, Fluorescence Microscopy, 3D pairs.

Definitely a must have for your classroom!

Only $20 for the first CD and $15 for each additional copy to same address.

Click here for the order form.

Websites for Books
(these links were sent to us. We have tried none of them.) – offers Cheap Textbooks, Used Textbooks and College Textbooks Search from 112 Bookstores – compare Book Prices for Cheap Books, Discount Used Books at 106 Bookstores. – a free innovative service of finding the best price on a purchase of several books together. This service is more useful than the standard services which perform one book comparison at a time, and can save more money when buying several books together