User login

Milk Makes Me Sick: Exploration of Lactose Intolerance

Source Institutions

    The Exploratorium

Add to listGo to activity
Milk Makes Me Sick: Exploration of Lactose Intolerance

Why does milk make some people sick? In this activity learners explore this question and explore the chemistry of milk, and our bodies! This activity can also be used as an exploration of enzyme function.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

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

Age Range:
Ages 14 - adult

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per group of students)

  • regular milk
  • lactaid milk (100% lactose free)
  • lactase drops (ex. Dairy Ease brand)
  • 3-5 test tubes (to hold 20 ml fluid)
  • glucose test strips
  • 2% glucose solutions


  • Life Sciences
    • Cells
      • Cell Metabolism
    • Heredity and Genetics
      • Human Genetics
    • Human Body
      • Digestion
      • Health and Nutrition
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Chemistry of Life

Informal Categories

  • Food and Cooking


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Uses STEM to solve real-world problems
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Kalamuck, Karen


  • All Rights Reserved, The Exploratorium,


User Lists

This resource is part of these lists: