Perhaps you follow Carl Zimmer and are familiar with an ongoing set of relatively simple experiments that explore the evolution of multicellularity using yeast. The experiments are very straightforward and I had thought to myself that if I were still in the classroom I’d be trying this out. William Ratcliffe, one of the principle researchers involved, was at NABT presenting a high school adaptation of the investigation as well as another on testing the predation hypothesis as a possible driver for multi-cellularity. Even better he was distributing kits. He want folks every where creating multicellular yeast.
You’ll find a number of relevant links below but for now the important one is: http://snowflakeyeastlab.com/index.htm Head on over there and request a kit and give this a try in your classroom. Very, very cool.
A caveat, not all of the research community is on board just yet with this serving as a appropriate example for the transition to multi-cellularity. Carl discusses this in his posts linked below (along with some responses from Dr. Ratcliffe. You can also find additional critique here on Sandwalk, Larry Moran’s blog: http://sandwalk.blogspot.com/2013/11/is-bakers-yeast-good-model-for.html
The original paper: