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Grades 9-12

Exploring Isolated Populations main image

Lesson Plan

Isolated Populations and Inbreeding

Discuss how scientists define populations, and the consequences of inbreeding in animal populations like the Florida panther and purebred dogs and horses, and in human populations like the Amish and the Habsburg royal family.


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.



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.



Digital Images: The Universe Exposed

For most of human history, recording a star meant describing it with words or drawing a picture. The 19th-century invention of photography changed that—only to be revolutionized by digital imaging.


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

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.


Curriculum Materials


When it comes to observing stars, our eyes have their limitations. Take a look at how astronomers combat these limits and accurately measure the distances between celestial bodies.


Online Resource

Gravity: It's Universal

We owe our lives to gravity. It holds the atmosphere to Earth and keeps us all from falling off into space. Not to mention that without gravity, the stars and planets—including Earth—wouldn't even exist!


American Museum of Natural History

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