Grades 6-8

Which Map's the Best Map?

Activity

Which Map's the Best Map?

As a miniature model of the Earth, a globe is the most accurate representation of our planet. Yet it's not what most scientists use to do their work. What do they use instead, and why?

Making Map Projections

Classroom Activity

Making Map Projections

Don't toss that empty soda bottle! Grab a knife and test out your cartography skills. You'll never look at a map of the Earth in the same way again.

Thump, Thump, Thump ... How Dinosaurs Moved

Activity

Thump, Thump, Thump ... How Dinosaurs Moved

Want to see firsthand how a dinosaur moved? Observe a bird as it walks along the sidewalk or in your backyard. Then challenge a friend to a "push-up" race—dinosaur versus crocodile.

Be a Sleuth: How Dinosaurs Behaved

Classroom Activity

Be a Sleuth: How Dinosaurs Behaved

Like today's crime-scene investigators, paleontologists study clues left behind. See firsthand what trackways—fossilized footprints—can tell them about dinosaur behavior.

Observe a Dinosaur

Activity

Observe a Dinosaur

Ever wish you could watch a dinosaur in action? Investigate modern birds for an insightful look at how ancient dinosaurs moved and behaved.

Dino Times! How Dinosaurs Lived

Activity

Dino Times! How Dinosaurs Lived

Travel to Liaoning, China, where a fossilized lakebed is providing scientists with the most complete picture to-date of what a dinosaur ecosystem probably looked like.

Fossilized Fashion: How Dinosaurs Looked

Activity

Fossilized Fashion: How Dinosaurs Looked

We know that some dinosaurs had fancy frills while others had sharp horns or pointy spikes. But why? Investigate the purpose of these and other dinosaur "fashions."

Solve a Sedimentary Layers Puzzle

Activity

Solve a Sedimentary Layers Puzzle

The history of life on Earth is recorded in the planet's rock layers. Try your hand at reconstructing geologic history with this fossil-filled puzzle.

Make an Ecosystem Diorama

Hands-on Activity

Make an Ecosystem Diorama

Now you can gaze at your favorite museum diorama anytime you want, night or day. Grab your crayons, and create a shoe-box replica of A Wading Bird Rookery, The Olympic Rain Forest, or A Giant Cactus Forest.

Flesh Out a Fossil

Activity

Flesh Out a Fossil

Discover how artists bring dinosaur skeletons to life with skin, feathers, and other features. Then try to create your own lifelike Velociraptor from a skeletal drawing.

Understanding Exploration

Activity

Understanding Exploration

Compass, dog sled, telephone, computer, Global Positioning System (GPS)—which of these technological advances has made the biggest contribution to Antarctic exploration? Take our research challenge.

Locating a Point

Activity

Locating a Point

The full force of the Antarctic winter is just days away, and you're deep into your research on a fallen meteorite. How can you mark its exact location for your return in six months?

Light and Dark in the Sea

Article

Light and Dark in the Sea

Only the top 200 meters (656 feet) of the ocean get enough light to support plants. Below 1,000 meters (3,281 feet), there's complete darkness. So how do organisms on the sea floor find food?

The Chemistry of Deep Sea Vents

Article

The Chemistry of Deep Sea Vents

Valuable ore deposits of iron, copper, and zinc—all formed by deep sea vents and thrust up onto land. If you want to know how mineral deposits are formed, look to the ocean.

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