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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

In this activity, student teams will create a controlled experiment by building ecosystems in two 2-liter bottles. Teams determine the control conditions of both bottles, identify a test variable, and run the experiment for several weeks to... (View More)

This textbook chapter describes the role photosynthesis, food webs, and fossil fuels in the movement of energy through the biosphere. The resource includes a student investigation, links to current news articles, and an essay-based unit assessment.... (View More)

Keywords: Energy pyramid
Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free per student

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)

In this problem-based data analysis activity, students assume roles as members of an International Team of Marine Biologists, tasked with predicting and monitoring possible harmful algae blooms. Students use data maps and guiding questions, to... (View More)

In this field-based investigation, students survey vegetation and small animal diversity in a study plot. They calculate the biomass of different organisms, and create a habitat action plan based on their data. A student data sheet is included. This... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free per group of students

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)

In this simulation activity, students experiment with a population of M&M candies or paper dot "beetles" to test how well each color is adapted to survive on a field of colorful wrapping paper or fabric. Students act as predators and see that... (View More)