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Grades 6-8

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Article

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.

Reference List

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.

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Reference List

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.

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Interactive

What's This?

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

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Interactive

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.

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Hands-on Activity

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. 

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Interactive

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!

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Climate Change: The Multiplier Effect

How much can you reduce your carbon dioxide emissions? Is it worth it? Learn how simple choices multiplied by everyone in your community can make a big difference.

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."

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Activity

Using Solar Energy

After having students conduct a simple solar energy experiment, challenge them to build a better water heater with this classroom competition.

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