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Browse Resources
Here are all of the resources in the Science Montana directory.
To make browsing a little easier, you can also browse the directory by topic area: Earth Science, Life Science, Physical Science or Space Science. Or, to find specific resources search by keyword.

A World on Fire: Wildfire and Climate Change in the Past, Present, and Future
A new series of short films helps citizens of Montana and the Rocky Mountain West understand how scientists study the impact of fire on ecosystems. This NSF WildFIRE PIRE (wildfirepire.org) podcast was produced by Danny Schmidt and Savannah Lozier...   View Details »

Key Concepts: wildfire, fire, climate change, climate science, research


Aerosols and their impact on climate
This activity introduces students to global dimming. They should have an understand- ing of the atmosphere, solar radiation, and global warming (greenhouse gases).   View Details »

Key Concepts: climate, aerosol


All in the Clouds
This is an activity on cloud classification and weather prediction that teaches students to observe natural phenomena in local skies. Students work individually and in groups to record daily outdoor observations, drawing cloud formations and...   View Details »

Key Concepts: Atmospheric Science, Cloud Shapes, Classifying Clouds


Are all viruses bad?
Learn more about how scientists are using viruses then see if you can tell if they are harmful or not just by looking at them.   View Details »

Key Concepts: biology, viruses


Are Viruses Alive?
Dr. Mark Young of Montana State University addresses the difficult question of whether viruses are alive. To do this, we must consider the fundamental question of what "life" itself means.   View Details »

Key Concepts: virus, microbiology


Astrobiology Short Course (full curriculum)
This interactive course is designed to give you an introduction to Astrobiology that you can work through at your own pace and return to at any time. Designed for upper elementary and middle school teachers, this course also contains relevant...   View Details »

Key Concepts: astrobiology, life, DNA, evolution, solar system


Astrobiology: The Search for Life in the Universe (overview lecture)
How does life begin and evolve? Does life exist elsewhere in the Universe? Join Montana State University professor John Peters as he examines these questions and explains the search for life in the universe. Peters is director of the NASA...   View Details »

Key Concepts: astrobiology, astronomy, space, biology, NASA


Astronauts and Aliens: Aliens Party
Yellowstone hot springs and aliens: what's the connection? Come to the alien party at your local library and find out. Come face-to-face with some Sea Monkeys and learn about their travels in space. Make some Shrinky Dinks, hear a fun alien story,...   View Details »

Key Concepts: Yellowstone, hot springs, aliens, sea monkeys, astrobiologists


Astronauts and Aliens: Family Star Gazing Night
Learn more about our solar system and the stars you see at night at a family star viewing party. Gaze at the stars through a telescope, learn a few constellations, and make your own portable guide to the night sky. Discover what stars and planets...   View Details »

Key Concepts: stars, solar system, constellations, planets, astronomy calendar


Astronauts and Aliens: Sun Party
The Sun helps keep us alive. It is our nearest star and it provides us with warmth and energy. Come learn more about our star and make a bracelet or key chain that changes color in the Sun's light. Create your own solar clock, view photos of the Sun...   View Details »

Key Concepts: sun, solar clock


Astronauts and Aliens:Astronauts Party
Have you ever thought about being an astronaut? Come learn more about how to become an astronaut and what life is like in space. View photos of Mars in 3-D, make a rocket, try on some moon shoes, and taste some astronaut food. You'll find out if...   View Details »

Key Concepts: astronaut, life, space, rocket, moon shoes


Batiking Yellowstone: Using Art to Interpret Science
Yellowstone National Park is a unique and dynamic ever changing system that is fueled by a continental hot spot. Life in the region is dependent on the chemistry and heat generated by the hot spot. Students will interpret this nature beauty through...   View Details »

Key Concepts: art, geothermal,steam


Beetles
This is a multi-part activity on insect morphology that trains students to observe the body structures characteristic of particular groups of insects. Students gather information they need in order to identify beetles they have collected outdoors. ...   View Details »

Key Concepts: Life Sciences, Insects, Beetles


Buckets of Planets
In this activity, children analyze descriptions of planets and decide which one is most likely to support life. They then search for microbial life by digging through buckets representing the planets. This can be a short demo or a longer in-depth...   View Details »

Key Concepts: microbes, astrobiology


Building a Tipi
This is a multi-part activity on aerodynamics that demonstrates the importance of shape and size on an object's wind resistance. Students make their own paper models of two different shapes (a box-shaped house and a cone-shaped tipi) to test and...   View Details »

Key Concepts: physical science, aerodynamics, wind resistance, structural shape, engineering


Can humans survive at high altitudes?
Learn about the difficulties of humans surviving at high altitudes then compare how long it takes you to walk a mile to climbers in the "death zone" on Mount Everest. Next find the nearest high altitude spots to where you live.    View Details »

Key Concepts: Everest, mountains, math, weather, climate


Canoes and Buoyant Force
This lesson introduces the concept of buoyant force and how the shape and weight of objects can influence their ability to float. Students will use a spring scale to measure the buoyant force exerted on their handmade canoes, thereby conducting...   View Details »

Key Concepts: Physical Science, Forces, Buoyancy


China and dinosaurs: what's the connection?
Learn about why MSU students traveled to China to study dinosaurs and about dinosaurs in Chinese culture. Try to write the word dinosaur in Chinese.    View Details »

Key Concepts: dinosaurs, biology, paleontology, China, linguistics


Chromatography with Autumn Leaves
Students will learn about annual and perennial plants as well as the specific mechanism of leaf shedding and the reasons for leaf color change.   View Details »

Key Concepts: plants, photosynthesis, soil, water, scientific method


Colony Collapse: What Makes Bees Sick?
In this lesson, students will learn about bee colony collapse disorder (CCD) by watching a recorded talk by MSU graduate student Alex McMenamin and following along with a hands-on colony collapse activity. Students will use critical thinking skills...   View Details »

Key Concepts: bee, virus, climate change, honeybee, hive, colony, Teen Science Cafe