Grades 6-8

Studying Tree Rings to Learn About Global Climate

Online Resource, Article

Studying Tree Rings to Learn About Global Climate

By taking biopsy-like samples from centuries-old Siberian pines, scientists have reconstructed a 300-year record of temperature changes for the Arctic and the Northern Hemisphere.

Reefs in Crisis

Online Resource, Article

Reefs in Crisis

Humans have harmlessly harvested coral reefs for thousands—or even hundreds of thousands—of years. So why has our behavior in recent years suddenly put reefs at risk?

Saving Species

Saving Species

Take a world-wide tour of biodiversity. You'll meet mollusks in the reefs off the Bahamas, the aye-aye in the tropical forests of Madagascar, and the clever mimic-ant spider that lives in Australia.

Work the System!

Work the System!

Did you know that forests with leaves above the water can grow in the ocean? Grab the magical magnifying glass, and see how many different plants and animals you can find in this virtual mangrove swamp. 

It Takes All Kinds to Make a World

It Takes All Kinds to Make a World

The ocean's one diverse place—with alga so tiny that 10 million can fit in a single teaspoon to whales longer than three school buses. Take the surfboard challenge, and ride the waves of biodiversity!

Ocean Creature Feature

Ocean Creature Feature

To survive in the icy Pacific, a sea otter has about a million hairs in every square inch of its fur. Now, that's dense! Take a close look at ocean adaptations while boosting your OLogy card collection.

Dive Into Worlds Within the Sea

Dive Into Worlds Within the Sea

Which squirmy little creatures does the spiny lobster eat? Can you spot the weird greenish glow on the belly of the cookie-cutter shark? Show off your good thinking with a game of good linking.

How to Calculate a Biodiversity Index

Article

How to Calculate a Biodiversity Index

One is the riskiest number... A more diverse plant population has a better chance of adapting to changes in the environment. Learn how to quantify the biodiversity of any area.

What's the Big Idea About Astronomy?

What's the Big Idea About Astronomy?

Huge distances, gigantic sizes, and long periods of time—astronomy is a BIG subject. We've brought learning about it down to size with this look at the big ideas you need to know. 

Just Add Water!

Hands-on Activity, Classroom Activity

Just Add Water!

Give your class a tour of the diverse landscape of your own undersea realm!

That's Heavy!

Hands-on Activity

That's Heavy!

This "heavy" experiment allows students to discover that salt water sinks in fresh water.

Water vs. Land

Hands-on Activity, Classroom Activity

Water vs. Land

Brainstorm with your students a list of things that are possible in water that are not possible on land, and vice versa.

Be an Ocean Biodiversity Detective!

Hands-on Activity, Classroom Activity

Be an Ocean Biodiversity Detective!

In this activity students will collect and closely observe specimens that have washed ashore to recognize different kinds of small ocean organisms.

Building a Cloud Chamber (Cosmic Ray Detector)

Curriculum Materials

Building a Cloud Chamber (Cosmic Ray Detector)

Wouldn't it be cool if you could create a rain cloud? Or call cosmic rays into view? Well, you can do both! All you need is an aquarium, a slide projector, dry ice, and a few other easy-to-get supplies.

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