Grades 9-12

Describing and Understanding Organisms

Activity

Describing and Understanding Organisms

At a loss for words when it comes to explaining your biodiversity findings in the classroom, field, or lab? Increase your vocabulary—and observation skills—with this guide to gathering clues.

Reading the Rocks at Cornwall, Pennsylvania

Young Naturalist Awards Essay

Reading the Rocks at Cornwall, Pennsylvania

See how a day of collecting rocks on the north shore of Long Island turned into an exploration of the Earth's history for this eighth-grader from New York.

Fiddler on the Marsh

Young Naturalist Awards Essay

Fiddler on the Marsh

Fiddler crabs never stray far from their burrow. That's why they will do anything to avoid getting caught and measured, as this ninth-grader from Virginia found out.

Genetics: An Increasingly Important Field of Science

Young Naturalist Awards Essay

Genetics: An Increasingly Important Field of Science

The work of Gregor Mendel—today known as the "Father of Genetics"—was disregarded by his fellow scientists. Learn how it was rediscovered decades later in this winning essay by a California teen.

The Big Chill: Calming Signals Among Wolves

Young Naturalist Awards Essay

The Big Chill: Calming Signals Among Wolves

Wolves have long been the favorite animal of this eighth-grader from Illinois. Learn how she turned her interest into an insightful experiment about how wolves calm and comfort each other.

Biodiversity in Arizona

Young Naturalist Awards Essay

Biodiversity in Arizona

It can seem that the desert ecosystem is devoid of much life. But this Arizona teen found biodiversity just by turning over a few ironwood tree trunks she found in the sand.

Aspen: A Keystone Species

Young Naturalist Awards Essay

Aspen: A Keystone Species

By keeping a nature journal, this 16-year-old from Colorado quickly saw how aspens support and sustain biodiversity. Learn more about the most widely distributed tree species in North America.

Bacteria

Young Naturalist Awards Essay

Bacteria

Bacteria—the oldest, simplest, and most numerous forms of life—can reproduce as often as every 20 minutes. Learn more about their significant role in ecosystems from this 13-year-old from Ohio.

Habitat Variety and Bird Abundance

Young Naturalist Awards Essay

Habitat Variety and Bird Abundance

The one constant in this world is change. Watch Lake Wildwood cycle from man-made lake to lakebed mudflats to marsh and finally back to lake with this 18-year-old from Georgia.

The Invincible Cockroach

Young Naturalist Awards Essay

The Invincible Cockroach

When this 12-year-old from New York came face to face with a house full of cockroaches, he didn't run away. Instead, he got the bug to learn more about these virtually indestructible creatures.

Poison-Dart Frogs: Nature's Touch-Me-Nots

Young Naturalist Awards Essay

Poison-Dart Frogs: Nature's Touch-Me-Nots

For centuries, Latin America's poison-dart frogs have helped hunters capture their prey. Today, they're also helping scientists combat disease. Take a close (safe!) look at these vividly colored frogs with this 15-year-old student.

Saguaro Cactus: From Life to Death

Young Naturalist Awards Essay

Saguaro Cactus: From Life to Death

2003 Young Naturalist Award-winning essay - Journey to the Sonoran Desert in southern Arizona with this seventh-grader for an up-close and personal look at the saguaro cactus, which can live about 200 years and grow to be almost 80 feet tall.

Studying Snow and Wind in Antarctica

Article

Studying Snow and Wind in Antarctica

What's a high school chemistry teacher from Florida doing in Antarctica studying the winds? She's helping researchers understand global warming by tracking how the winds transport snow.

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