SRMP Curricula for Teachers

The Science Research Mentoring Program provides New York City high school students with the opportunity to undertake year-long research projects with AMNH scientists. Students conduct research in the divisions of Astrophysics, Earth and Planetary Sciences, Vertebrate and Invertebrate Zoology, and Anthropology. Prior to their research year, students complete a series of 6-week long after-school courses designed to prepare them for the research experience. Co-taught and co-designed by Museum educators and scientists, SRMP course curriculum connects content, theory, and methodologies to the current, cutting-edge research of Museum scientists.

These curricula are designed to be taught in the Museum and make use of Museum resources and scientists; however, many lessons can be taught anywhere. We encourage you to use any or all of the curriculum below, and will add curriculum as we complete documentation of our efforts.  If you have questions about any of the curricula, please email us at [email protected].



Available SRMP Curricula

Life Sciences

Biodiversity: Tree of Life
This course introduces students to the diversity of major groups of organisms and their evolutionary relationships. Students will be able to understand concepts used in studying biodiversity, recognize major groups on the tree of life, and understand the link between biodiversity and evolution.

Comparative Genomics
This course will cover genetics and genomics, with a focus on understanding the composition of the genome. Students will learn what is in the genome, how mutations arise, and how variation in the genome impacts evolution and natural selection. Through a series of projects, students study how Museum scientists use genetic information to study the history of life on earth and the conservation of endangered species.

Conservation Biology
This course introduces students to the principal concepts and methods of Conservation Biology. They will then be able to apply this knowledge to analyze and address actual problems in ecosystems today.

Lab Skills: Molecular Biology
This course introduces students to basic techniques in molecular biology, through extracting their own DNA and genotyping themselves at a mtDNA locus by restriction digestion.

Lab Skills: Statistics
This course introduces students to the basics of statistics through the design of a case study for biologists. Students will design their own case studies, and collect and analyze field data using morphometrics. This data will be used to demonstrate basic statistics.

Mechanisms of Evolution
This course introduces students to evolutionary theory and the mechanisms by which evolution occurs. Topics such as genetic mutation, gene flow, genetic drift, recombination, and natural selection will be taught in the context of micro- and macroevolution. Students will understand shared common ancestry or decent with modification, a hallmark of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution and Natural Selection, and will build evolutionary trees to demonstrate these processes.

Physical Sciences

DIY Astronomy
This course familiarizes students with the various instruments and techniques astronomers use to collect data (such as images and spectra) and the tools that astronomers use to extract useful information from these data.

Dynamic Earth
This course introduces students to Earth’s dynamic systems. Students observe minerals and rocks, rock faces, and regions, and learn how such observations can be used to piece together the history of our planet.

Solar System
This course covers the types and properties of the objects within the Solar System, its formation, and the tools to study it. Additional topics include classification and scale modeling.

This course introduces students to stars, and research into stars. Topics covered include the lives of stars (“stellar evolution”), the HR Diagram, classification, types, the processes within, observational properties, catalogs of stellar properties, and other research tools associated with stellar astronomy.

Wonderful Universe
This course addresses core concepts in astrophysics: energy and force, conservation laws, Newton’s laws, gravity and orbits, quantization, light, and space-time. Light topics include spectroscopy and electron energy levels, photos versus waves, the electromagnetic spectrum, and blackbody radiation. The course also covers basic mathematical skills, including units of measurement, scientific notation, and trigonometry. Activities and planetarium viewings reinforce each topic.


The Science Research Mentoring Programs are supported by
the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DRL-0833537,
and by NASA under grant award NNX09AL36G.

NSF and NASA logo

Generous support for this program is provided by Wells Fargo.


Additional support for this program is provided by
the Adolph and Ruth Schnurmacher Foundation,
and the Charles and Mildred Schnurmacher Foundation.


Complimentary test preparation and college admissions
support for program participants is generously provided by

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