Attract a Fish

Source Institutions

Source Institutions

Add to list Go to activity
Activity link broken? See if it's at the internet archive
This outdoor activity/field trip requires a place where minnows swim, such as a local pond or brook. Learners are challenged to find out how minnows respond to various fishing lures, then design and test the most effective minnow attractor. The instructions offer suggestions for low-tech fishing poles made with thin wire and a twig, bamboo cane, or dowel stick.

Quick Guide

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Field Trip


Materials List (per group of students)

  • 1 thin stick
  • 1 piece of #32 copper wire
  • 1 data board
  • score sheets
  • marking pen
  • junk box
  • string
  • cotton
  • rubber bands
  • aluminum foil
  • small weights
  • cork
  • shiny materials
  • colored paper
  • small pieces of meat, vegetables and strong-smelling foods
  • 2 rolls of clear tape


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Animals
    • Ecology
      • Ecosystems
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Invention and Innovation

Informal Categories

  • Animals
  • Nature and Environment
  • Outdoor Activity
  • Physical Activity


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • be mobile
  • smell
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Links STEM to other topics of interest such as arts and humanities
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, The Regents of the University of California, 1981