Grades 6-8

Leaf Margins

Diagram

Leaf Margins

Entire or toothed? Being able to distinguish between these two types of leaf margins will help you identify a plant specimen. This illustrated guide shows you what both look like.

Face to Fossil

Face to Fossil

Join the inquisitive Deena Soris as she interviews the fossil of a Protoceratops. This dashing dino, dug up in Mongolia in the 1920s, offers insight into his former life—and the secrets he's still keeping. 

Describing and Understanding Organisms

Activity

Describing and Understanding Organisms

At a loss for words when it comes to explaining your biodiversity findings in the classroom, field, or lab? Increase your vocabulary—and observation skills—with this guide to gathering clues.

Going Gobi

Going Gobi

Who would travel halfway around the world to spend the summer in a desert where brutal sandstorms and surprise flash floods are on the itinerary? Meet Mike and Mark, who've made the trek annually since 1990. 

Meet the PaleontOLogists

Meet the PaleontOLogists

If you dig dinosaurs, then you need to meet these OLogists. Find out what cool stuff Anna, Max, Reva, and Mark have uncovered while following their curiosity. 

Reading the Rocks at Cornwall, Pennsylvania

Young Naturalist Awards Essay

Reading the Rocks at Cornwall, Pennsylvania

See how a day of collecting rocks on the north shore of Long Island turned into an exploration of the Earth's history for this eighth-grader from New York.

Dress Up a Horse

Dress Up a Horse

Throughout time, people have dressed horses in different ways—sometimes for practical reasons, other times to reflect status or wealth. Explore the styles of horse dress from six world cultures.

Habitat Variety and Bird Abundance

Young Naturalist Awards Essay

Habitat Variety and Bird Abundance

The one constant in this world is change. Watch Lake Wildwood cycle from man-made lake to lakebed mudflats to marsh and finally back to lake with this 18-year-old from Georgia.

The Invincible Cockroach

Young Naturalist Awards Essay

The Invincible Cockroach

When this 12-year-old from New York came face to face with a house full of cockroaches, he didn't run away. Instead, he got the bug to learn more about these virtually indestructible creatures.

Poison-Dart Frogs: Nature's Touch-Me-Nots

Young Naturalist Awards Essay

Poison-Dart Frogs: Nature's Touch-Me-Nots

For centuries, Latin America's poison-dart frogs have helped hunters capture their prey. Today, they're also helping scientists combat disease. Take a close (safe!) look at these vividly colored frogs with this 15-year-old student.

Biodiversity in Arizona

Young Naturalist Awards Essay

Biodiversity in Arizona

It can seem that the desert ecosystem is devoid of much life. But this Arizona teen found biodiversity just by turning over a few ironwood tree trunks she found in the sand.

Aspen: A Keystone Species

Young Naturalist Awards Essay

Aspen: A Keystone Species

By keeping a nature journal, this 16-year-old from Colorado quickly saw how aspens support and sustain biodiversity. Learn more about the most widely distributed tree species in North America.

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