Bring this free, STEAM lab to your classroom and learn the science behind dyeing with cochineal insects!

Wednesday, March 9th from 4 - 5pm CST

Virtual, Zoom

Facilitators: Tonia Grafakos, Susan Russick, Natalie Bueno, and Ashley Walter The Baxter Center is excited to run another Baxter Box @ Home workshop.

Through this interactive virtual program, teachers have the opportunity to work with cochineal, an insect based natural dye used in the Americas for thousands of years. These insects are famous for rich, blood red colors, but cochineal is pH sensitive and can shift from red to orange or purple in different conditions. In this workshop, you will crush some bugs and experiment with edible acids, bases, and a mordant to mix several colors of natural ink.

Participants receive materials, join the Baxter Center and Northwestern Libraries for a live workshop, and run the lab from wherever they like, for FREE. The first 15 registrants are guaranteed a spot! By participating in the program participants will:

  • Receive materials to test out a STEM lab activity with cochineal bugs.
  • Plan with a community of educators and Baxter Center staff to reflect on how activities can be brought back to the classroom.
  • Become eligible to borrow classroom sets of equipment and receive up to four lab kits for FREE through the Baxter Box Loaner Program.
  • Earn 2 CEUs for participating!

The first 15 participants to sign up for this free workshop are guaranteed to receive supplies and a spot in the workshop! Sign up today at

Be sure to sign up by Wednesday, March 2nd!



Wednesday, March 2nd 

Sign-up Deadline 

Be sure to sign up for this free workshop by Wednesday, March 2nd. The first 15 participants will receive supplies and are ensured a spot in the class! 


Sign up here:

Monday, March 7th to 

Tuesday, March 9th 

Baxter Box Deliveries 

You will receive a Baxter Box that contains everything you will need to run the lab with us during the Cochineal workshop! You will receive this Baxter Box through FedEx. 

Wednesday, March 9th from 4 - 5pm CST

LIVE Baxter Box @ Home Workshop

Through this interactive virtual workshop, teachers will join Tonia Grafakos and Susan Russick from Northwestern University Libraries to work through a Cochineal lab activity. 


  • What will I receive? Participants will receive a Baxter Box that is equivalent to a demo science kit. We will do our best to provide everything you need to run this experiment at home, including equipment and reagents.
  • What am I expected to do? Join us for a one hour live workshop, then run the lab in your own home. We hope to brainstorm together on how to make the kits you receive meaningful for your students, whether your classroom is back in school or virtual.
  • How much time do I have to commit to? We estimated that this will be a 2 hour commitment. There will be a 1 hour live workshop + an estimated 1 hour working individually on labs.
  • What do I need? We will do our best to provide everything you need (equipment, consumables, and training) to be able to participate in the program and complete experiments at home.
  • How will I receive the Baxter Box? We will ship everything to the address you provide in the sign up!
  • Do I get to keep my Baxter Box? You are welcome to keep everything you are receiving for this workshop.
  • Can I receive materials to send labs to my students? Let us know if you would like to run this activity for your students and we can get you the supplies!