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This is an activity designed to develop a working definition of life. Learners will conduct a simple experiment, looking for signs of life in three different "soil" samples. The experiment introduces children to the difficulty that scientists face... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This is an activity about the requirements of life. Learners will explore what living things need to survive and thrive by creating and caring for a garden plot (outdoors where appropriate) or a container garden (indoors) at the program facility.... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This activity focuses on the relationship between science of looking for life and the tools, on vehicles such as the Mars Rover, that make it possible. Learners will create their own models of a Mars rover. They determine what tools would be... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This textbook chapter makes the case for preserving desert old growth forests, and endangered species. The captive breeding program for the black-footed ferret is presented as a case study. Students learn about conservation practices they can do,... (View More)

This textbook chapter presents several biodiversity case studies, including a study of prairie soil, the 1930's Dustbowl, and the importance of soil conservation practices. The resource includes a link to current news articles and a teacher's guide.... (View More)

This textbook chapter presents a real case study involving the the logging of an old stand forest from three perspectives, that of the environmentalists, the wood products industry, and a politician. An associated writing activity engages students... (View More)

Readings in this chapter guide student reflection on sustainability of the planet, and whether the Earth system is near a tipping point, where ecosystems will reorganize and seek a new equilibrium, with consequences for biodiversity. The resource... (View More)

In this case study, students read about the Canopy Crane at Wind River, a project that enables the study of Earth system interactions that take place high in the tree canopy. The chapter profiles scientists, studying birds, fungi, chemical transfer... (View More)

This textbook chapter presents ocean and wetland ecosystems, and describes how floating plastic trash endangers aquatic species. Oceanographer Jacques Cousteau is profiled. The resource includes a student action plan to reduce waste in their... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

This textbook chapter tells the story of DDT and the the near-extinction of the Perigrine Falcon. The role of the Rachel Carson's best-seller, Silent Spring, and the role of research in the recent recovery of bird populations in the United States... (View More)