Grades 6-8

Lizards & Snakes: Alive! Glossary

Curriculum Materials

Lizards & Snakes: Alive! Glossary

What are squamata? Why is the term "cold-blooded" incorrect? And how does chemoreception work? Find out with this glossary—from "adaptation" to "vertebrate."

Curriculum Materials

Lizards & Snakes Booklist for Kids

Want to learn more about the legged and legless lizards known as squamates? You'll find everything from colorful field guides to tales of unusual behavior in this list of kid-friendly titles.

The World Through a Bat's Ears

Young Naturalist Awards Essay

The World Through a Bat's Ears

This 10th-grader from New York first became fascinated with bats when she observed their "magical movements" in Israel's Negev Desert as a young child. Trek with her to Ontario to study their behavioral ecology.

Tsunami Science: Reducing the Risk

Science Bulletin

Tsunami Science: Reducing the Risk

The scientific data left in the wake of the horrific December 26, 2004 tsunami is proving invaluable to better prepare for future events. Meet the researchers at the crest of this relatively young science. Featured are the geologists, seismologists, and computer modelers of the U.S. Pacific Northwest, an area replete with geological and anthropological evidence of past tsunamis. Learn how the region is preparing for its inevitable next wave.

Curriculum Materials

Lizards & Snakes Online Resources

Search a database with more than 8,300 reptile species. Learn about amphibian biology and conservation. Review the evolutionary history of squamates. And find hands-on science activities.

Yellowstone: Monitoring the Fire Below

Science Bulletin

Yellowstone: Monitoring the Fire Below

Three of the most catastrophic volcanic eruptions in geologic history occurred at a place now visited by nearly four million people a year: Yellowstone National Park. The magma chamber responsible still lies beneath, and continues to steam, heat, and shift the park landscape. Science Bulletins talks with the geologists regularly monitoring these disquieting signals to understand where this active region lies in its volcanic life span.

GOLD Online Resources

Curriculum Materials

GOLD Online Resources

Explore the McLaughlin gold mine in Northern California. See the first metal coins, which were created in the Middle East around 600 BC. And investigate the properties of gold.

What's This?

What's This?

Put your viewing skills to the test—and explore the Museum's Frozen Tissue Collection—with this mystery photo challenge.

What's This?

What's This?

Can you tell the difference between a leech's jaw and its back sucker? Test your knowledge of these blood-thirsty worms.

What's This?

What's This?

Can you tell the difference between an Emmy award and an Olympic medal? Test your knowledge of gold-plated objects. Then find out more about gold!

Make a Terrarium

Make a Terrarium

For billions of years the greenhouse effect has made life possible on Earth. Build a terrarium—your own miniature greenhouse—to see this process at work. 

Messenger: Mission to Mercury

Science Bulletin

MESSENGER: Mission to Mercury

The MESSENGER orbiter's January 2008 flyby of the planet Mercury was historic. The last time a spacecraft visited was 1975, and it only mapped half the planet. MESSENGER is now sending back a complete picture of Mercury, shedding light on its geological history. But the ongoing mission will return much more than images. Its data on the planet's core, magnetic field, composition, and other attributes will help scientists answer pressing questions about the evolution of the terrestrial planets and even the Solar System itself. In the feature video, watch the MESSENGER science team react as the orbiter's first images of Mercury roll in. To explore the images in detail, click on the slide show at left. Find out more on the mission by clicking on the essay "First Planet Finishes Last."

Exploring Bolivia's Biodiversity

Curriculum Materials

Exploring Bolivia's Biodiversity

Bolivia’s diversity of animal and plant life is among the greatest in the world. Learn why the country has designated more than 17 percent of its land as protected areas.

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