Grades 6-8

Climate Change Circles of Consequences

Classroom Activity

Climate Change Circles of Consequences

"Greenhouse effect" and "global warming" are becoming household phrases but how, exactly, are they linked? Explore the interconnections and consequences of climate change.

Understanding Cladistics

Curriculum Materials

Understanding Cladistics

Explore the method scientists use to determine evolutionary relationships by creating a coin cladogram. Then try your hand at classifying a handful of dinosaurs.

Gathering Light

Curriculum Materials

Gathering Light

While refracting and reflecting telescopes use different means of collecting light, the same principle applies to both—the bigger the aperture, the more light collected.

Building a Simple Refracting Telescope

Curriculum Materials

Building a Simple Refracting Telescope

What could Galileo see when he looked through his telescope? Build a refracting telescope with lenses similar to the ones he used, and see the answer for yourself.

Focal Point

Activity

Focal Point

What is a telescope's focal point, and why is knowing its location so important to astronomers? Grab a flashlight, an empty soda bottle, and a few other supplies; then find out.

Pixel This!

Curriculum Materials

Pixel This!

No doubt you've received—or even sent—a digital image. But do you know how these pixel-based photographs work? You will after you decode one yourself.

Becoming a Cultural Researcher

Curriculum Materials

Becoming a Cultural Researcher

What would an anthropologist make of your toothbrush, your school locker, or a Halloween jack-o-lantern? Examine the material culture and artifacts of your life.

Analyzing Images of Culture

Curriculum Materials

Analyzing Images of Culture

A picture is worth a thousand words, but whose words are they? Zoom in on how the opinions and biases of photographers can color the images they take.

Multiple Cultures, Multiple Identities

Curriculum Materials

Multiple Cultures, Multiple Identities

What defines you: your ethnic background, the region you live in, your age, or your gender? Correct answer: All of the above. Assemble the pieces of your identity in a cultural chest. 

When Cultures Travel

Curriculum Materials

When Cultures Travel

When people move, they take along more than their personal possessions. They also transport their culture. How have your family and your neighbors influenced the community you live in?

Looking at Our Own Cultural Artifacts

Curriculum Materials

Looking at Our Own Cultural Artifacts

When you think of your family's traditions and beliefs, what special objects come to mind? Would the meaning and value of these objects be clear to someone from another family or culture?

Filtering Light

Curriculum Materials

Filtering Light

All the color photos of astronomical phenomena that we see in magazines and books begin as three separate images—one red, one green, and one blue. Explore how CCD cameras and their color filters work.

The 3-D Universe

Article

The 3-D Universe

A 2-D map is a great guide here on Earth—and virtually worthless for finding your way around in outer space. Take a 3-D look at mapping our solar system and universe.

3-D Model of the Big Dipper

Curriculum Materials

3-D Model of the Big Dipper

In outer space, you might not recognize the Big Dipper. The stars that form this constellation exist in 3-D not 2-D—so the star pattern changes with your viewpoint. Take another look at the Big Dipper.

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