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Grades 6-8

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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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Activity

Mermaid Migration

Follow mermaids around the world and throughout history to see first-hand how cultures share and reinterpret mythic creatures.

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Activity

Early Explorers & Mistaken Identities

Setting sail without a map wasn't the only concern facing European explorers. Their heads had also been filled with tales of monsters lurking in the oceans' depths.

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Activity

Investigate Mysterious Creatures

The elusive giant squid was first described 500 years ago by Scandinavian sailors. Investigate what we've learned--and what still remains unknown--about this mysterious deep-ocean creature.

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