Bone Basics

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This is an activity (on page 2 of the PDF under Bone Regrowth Activity) about the two main components of bone - collagen and minerals (like calcium) - and how they each contribute to its flexibility and strength. Learners will submerge 3 chicken bones in water, bleach, and vinegar, wait 24 hours, then observe and test each bone. This resource includes information about how nanoscientists are trying to produce artificial analogs to these components and relates to linked video, DragonflyTV Nano: Bone Regrowth.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 7 days

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

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • 3 chicken bones
  • 3 jars with lids
  • bleach
  • vinegar
  • water
  • tweezers
  • scissors
  • permanent makers or labels for the jars


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Bioengineering/Biomedical Engineering
      • Nanotechnology
    • Technology
      • Medical Technology
  • Life Sciences
    • Human Body
      • Skeleton
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Acids and Bases
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
  • The Nature of Technology
    • Technology and Society
      • Impacts of Technology


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • DragonflyTV


  • All rights reserved, Twin Cities Public Television, Inc., 2008

Funding Source:

  • National Science Foundation, 741749