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Climate Change and Rising Seas
Activity
EDUCATION

Climate Change and Rising Seas

Students identify the difference between global warming and climate change. They learn what causes global rise in sea level, and they test predictions about sea level rise through a hands-on experiment.

  • Best for: Grades 5 - 9 (ages 10 - 15)
  • Concepts: climate change, environment, glaciers, global warming, melting, oceans, sea level rise
Analyzing the Distribution of Vegetation Zones and Mountain Gorillas in Virunga National Park
Activity
EDUCATION

Analyzing the Distribution of Vegetation Zones and Mountain Gorillas in Virunga National Park

Students use a map to analyze and contrast variations in abiotic factors at three locations within Virunga National Park and explain how these factors influence the distribution of vegetation zones. Then students deduce the location that provides habitat for critically endangered mountain gorillas a...

  • Best for: Grades 9 - 12 (ages 14 - 18)
  • Concepts: abiotic factors, alpine, ecosystems, elevation, habitat loss, montane forest, mountain gorilla, precipitation, savanna, temperature, vegetation regions, virunga national park
Conduct a Micro-Expedition
Activity
EDUCATION

Conduct a Micro-Expedition

Students conduct their micro-expedition based on planning from previous activities. They then create a presentation, blog post, or other display of their expedition and findings.

  • Best for: Grades 7 and up (ages 12 and up)
  • Concepts: blue holes , communication, curiosity, discovery, expeditions, exploration, fieldwork, micro-expedition, observation
Multidisciplinary Exploration
Activity
EDUCATION

Multidisciplinary Exploration

Students analyze the multidisciplinary nature of the National Geographic Bahamas Blue Hole Expedition by determining the questions the scientists and researchers involved in the expedition were attempting to answer. They then construct a multidisciplinary approach for their own micro-expedition...

  • Best for: Grades 7 and up (ages 12 and up)
  • Concepts: blue holes , cave diving, curiosity, expeditions, exploration, oceans, research
Expedition Ethics
Activity
EDUCATION

Expedition Ethics

Students discuss the meaning of ethics and evaluate the ethical considerations with the Blue Holes Expedition. They apply their learning to planning for the micro-expedition.

  • Best for: Grades 7 and up (ages 12 and up)
  • Concepts: blue holes , cave diving, caver’s motto, curiosity, ethics, expeditions, exploration, hiram bingham, leave no trace, micro-expedition, oceans
Plan and Prepare for an Expedition
Activity
EDUCATION

Plan and Prepare for an Expedition

Students envision the planning and preparation needed for an expedition to a remote and dangerous site. Then they determine the actual preparation from a video about an expedition to the site. They plan their own “micro-expedition,” including a research question they want to answer, and ...

  • Best for: Grades 7 and up (ages 12 and up)
  • Concepts: blue holes , cave diving, curiosity, expeditions, exploration, micro-expedition, oceans, paleontology, planning
Why We Explore
Activity
EDUCATION

Why We Explore

Students discuss the meaning of exploration and places they would like to explore. They compare past and present-day explorers’ reasons for exploration to their own.

  • Best for: Grades 7 and up (ages 12 and up)
  • Concepts: blue holes divers, cave diving, curiosity, expeditions, exploration, places, scientific research
Designing a BioBlitz Learning Experience
Activity
EDUCATION

Designing a BioBlitz Learning Experience

Recruit and support scientists, naturalists, and other expert volunteers to lead BioBlitz inventories that engage both students and community members in a fun, dynamic, participatory science learning and stewardship event.

  • Best for: Grades 4 - 12 (ages 9 - 18)
  • Concepts: bioblitz, citizen science, discoveries, identifying species, inventory, invertebrates, observation, plants
Introducing Biodiversity and BioBlitz
Activity
EDUCATION

Introducing Biodiversity and BioBlitz

​Students prepare for BioBlitz by defining biodiversity and examining the characteristics of various plants and animals as examples of taxonomic groupings. Students learn about the number of species identified globally in key taxa and use this information to make predictions about the biodiversity t...

  • Best for: Grades 4 - 8 (ages 9 - 14)
  • Concepts: bioblitz, biodiversity, biological classification, classifying information, estimated, observation, recording, scientific investigation, taxonomy
Analyzing BioBlitz Data
Activity
EDUCATION

Analyzing BioBlitz Data

Students investigate and analyze local biodiversity using iNaturalist observations. They collaborate in small groups to explore observations and identification of various taxon groups. Then students create a class graph of data and draw inferences about biodiversity, invasive species, and endangered...

  • Best for: Grades 4 - 8 (ages 9 - 14)
  • Concepts: bioblitz, biodiversity, data analysis, endangered species, introduced species, invasive species, patterns, synthesis, taxonomy, threatened species
Tracing Democratic Ideas
Activity
EDUCATION

Tracing Democratic Ideas

Students analyze excerpts from historical documents, including the Mayflower Compact, The General Fundamentals, The Declaration of Independence, and the U.S. Constitution, to identify evidence of democratic ideas.

  • Best for: Grades 9 - 12 (ages 14 - 18)
  • Concepts: declaration of independence, democracy, mayflower compact, pilgrims, plymouth colony, social contract, the general fundamentals , united states constitution
Saints and Strangers: Push and Pull on the Way to Plymouth Colony
Activity
EDUCATION

Saints and Strangers: Push and Pull on the Way to Plymouth Colony

Students analyze the motivations for the Saints and Strangers to immigrate to North America by reading secondary sources and working in teams to determine the push and pull factors.

  • Best for: Grades 9 - 12 (ages 14 - 18)
  • Concepts: immigration, mayflower, merchant, migration, plymouth, plymouth colony, puritans, separatists
Recognizing Native American Perspectives: Thanksgiving and the National Day of Mourning
Activity
EDUCATION

Recognizing Native American Perspectives: Thanksgiving and the National Day of Mourning

Students analyze a primary source to learn about a Native American’s perspective on the arrival of the Pilgrims and discuss differing viewpoints about the significance of the Thanksgiving holiday.

  • Best for: Grades 9 - 12 (ages 14 - 18)
  • Concepts: native americans, pilgrims, thanksgiving
Preserving Soils
Activity
EDUCATION

Preserving Soils

Students explore a map showing cropland density around the world. They discover how soil is formed and explore how plants get nutrients from topsoil. Finally, they use computational models to explore how wind, water, and plants affect soil quality.

  • Best for: Grades 7 and up (ages 12 and up)
  • Concepts: erosion, plants, roots, slope, soil, topsoil
Using the Land
Activity
EDUCATION

Using the Land

Students explore data showing how humans have changed Earth's land. They examine maps showing the distribution of suitable agricultural land and investigate the effect of human development on agricultural lands.

  • Best for: Grades 7 and up (ages 12 and up)
  • Concepts: agriculture, development, food, forests, housing, land use
Climate and Crop Growth
Activity
EDUCATION

Climate and Crop Growth

Students explore climate graphs and an interactive computational model to discover the role of temperature and precipitation on the growth of crops. They examine how the extremes of precipitation (drought and flood) affect plant growth and they use maps of average precipitation and temperature to pr...

  • Best for: Grades 7 and up (ages 12 and up)
  • Concepts: agriculture, climate, drought, flood, plant growth, precipitation, production, temperature
Soil Quality
Activity
EDUCATION

Soil Quality

Students explore the conditions that make high-quality soils. Using data from field research and interactive computational models, they determine which farming practices best preserve and increase soil quality.   

  • Best for: Grades 7 and up (ages 12 and up)
  • Concepts: crop rotation, fertilizer, nutrients, organic matter, plant growth, soil moisture, soil quality
Best Practices
Activity
EDUCATION

Best Practices

Students explore the reasons for increased agricultural production and make predictions about future agricultural production. They examine data and investigate field research that is attempting to increase plants' yields without chemical or biological interventions. Students propose land managem...

  • Best for: Grades 7 and up (ages 12 and up)
  • Concepts: agriculture, crop pests, crop yields, fertilizer, genetic modification, land management, pesticides
Pollutants Making More Pollutants
Activity
EDUCATION

Pollutants Making More Pollutants

Students use models to explore how primary pollutant emissions interact with environmental components to form secondary pollutants. Students also examine how secondary pollutants impact the environment and human health.

  • Best for: Grades 7 and up (ages 12 and up)
  • Concepts: acid rain, carbon monoxide, clean air, emissions, nitrogen oxides, ozone, pollution, precipitation, primary pollutants, secondary pollutants, smog, solar radiation, sulfur dioxide, volatile organic compounds (vocs), wind
Visible and Invisible Pollutants
Activity
EDUCATION

Visible and Invisible Pollutants

Students explore data about the sources and consequences of different types of pollutant emissions.

  • Best for: Grades 7 and up (ages 12 and up)
  • Concepts: carbon monoxide, clean air, emissions, nitrogen oxides, particulate, pollution, precipitation, primary pollutants, secondary pollutants, smog, solar radiation, sulfur dioxide, volatile organic compounds (vocs), wind
Movement of Pollutants
Activity
EDUCATION

Movement of Pollutants

Students use models to explore how pollutants move throughout the atmosphere.

  • Best for: Grades 7 and up (ages 12 and up)
  • Concepts: air quality index, clean air, emissions, geographical barriers, pollution, precipitation, primary pollutants, secondary pollutants, smog, solar radiation, wind
Measuring Air Quality
Activity
EDUCATION

Measuring Air Quality

Students explore the air quality index and factors that contribute to poor air quality events. 

  • Best for: Grades 7 and up (ages 12 and up)
  • Concepts: air quality index, clean air, emissions, pollution, smog
Using Groundwater Wisely
Activity
EDUCATION

Using Groundwater Wisely

Students use interactive computational models to explore the relationship between infiltration and recharge in natural and urbanized areas. They investigate how human development has changed the natural flow of water. Students explore the transfer of water from one aquifer to another and propose sol...

  • Best for: Grades 7 and up (ages 12 and up)
  • Concepts: aquifers, groundwater, human development, impermeable, infiltration, recharge, topography, urbanization
Groundwater and Surface Water
Activity
EDUCATION

Groundwater and Surface Water

Students use interactive computational models to explore the underground flow of water and how it affects surface bodies of water. They predict how the water table will be affected by the placement of wells around a gaining stream. Finally, they explore the reasons the river dried up in a case study...

  • Best for: Grades 7 and up (ages 12 and up)
  • Concepts: aquifers, groundwater, sediments, streams, topography, water table
Groundwater Movement
Activity
EDUCATION

Groundwater Movement

Students explore how porosity and permeability of different sediments affect the way water flows through Earth's layers. Students use interactive computational models to explore the underground flow and deposition of water and determine the best places to access the water in a sustainable manner...

  • Best for: Grades 7 and up (ages 12 and up)
  • Concepts: aquifers, groundwater, permeability, porosity, sediments, topography