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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.

Cupcake Paleoecology
Scientists use lake sediment cores to interpret past environments. In this lesson, students will use cupcakes to understand the laws of superposition, learn how to date prehistoric organic things, and understand how scientists use lake cores to...   View Details »

Key Concepts: paleoecology, chronology, radiocarbon dating, tephrochronology


Designing the Perfect Plant
Introduce students to plant ecology and the ecological tradeoffs associated with different types of plants and plant attributes through a series of activities.   View Details »

Key Concepts: biodiversity, habitat,


Diverse Uses of Plants
This is a two-part activity lesson that teaches students how plants and plant products are important in many aspects of our daily lives. Students dye cotton materials using plants as dye sources and then weave using the colored yarns. They learn...   View Details »

Key Concepts: Life Science, Plants, Uses of Plants


DNA Extraction and Precipitation Lab
Students will gain an understanding of the structure and function of DNA. Students will be able to actually visualize DNA through the isolation of their own DNA from cheek cells.   View Details »

Key Concepts: molecular biology


Do animals have their own language?
Learn about animal communication then try analyzing real sound patterns made by a dolphin.    View Details »

Key Concepts: dolphin, biology, communication


Drake Equation
Students estimate the number of intelligent civilizations in our Milky Way by using observations and predictions based on NASA data. Grades 6-12.   View Details »

Key Concepts: estimate, NASA, Drake equation


Drinking Water in Arid Climates
This is an activity on water condensation that illustrates to students how water droplets collect on surfaces under certain circumstances. Students measure condensation formed in their water traps and chart the results over several days. They...   View Details »

Key Concepts: Atmospheric Science, Water Cycle, Condensation


Environmental Microbiology
This lesson introduces methods-based microbiology beyond what is generally taught in middle school science. Students will gain an understanding of the many microbes constantly surrounding us and will be able to differentiate between fungi and...   View Details »

Key Concepts: microbiology, ecology, scientific method


Everest Education Expedition
In Spring 2012, a team of athletes and scientists from Montana State University embarked upon an historic expedition to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first successful American ascent of Mount Everest. The Everest Education Expedition...   View Details »

Key Concepts: geology, geography, climate, snow science, culture, physiology, glaciers


Everest Education Expedition Climber's Journal
Throughout the three-month journey to Everest and back home again, MSU geologist Dr. David Lageson and Travis Corthouts, a Montana State University geology graduate student, shared their experiences, adventures and research findings with students...   View Details »

Key Concepts: geology,


Exploring Ecosystems: Biodiversity in My Backyard (full curriculum)
Explore the ecosystems of Montana alongside researchers from the Montana Institute on Ecosystems and enhance your students's understanding of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). This unit parallels research that is being done in...   View Details »

Key Concepts: ecology, ecosystems, climate change, climate, biodiversity, wildlife, data


Exploring Ecosystems: Lesson 1, Explore the Ecosystem
In Lesson 1 of the Exploring Ecosystems: Biodiversity in My Backyard curriculum, you'll learn about ecosystems and how an ecosystems's species are interconnected through games and diagrams. Explore how species' survival depends on the health of the...   View Details »

Key Concepts: climate change, environmental science


Exploring Ecosystems: Lesson 2, Become a Wildlife Ecologist
In Lesson 2 of the Exploring Ecosystems: Biodiversity in My Backyard curriculum, students will explore how scientists gather data on wildlife and the techniques they use in the field. Investigate signs of life and search for evidence of life in...   View Details »

Key Concepts: ecosystems, wildlife, ecology, citizen science, biodiversity


Exploring Ecosystems: Lesson 3, Biodiversity Basics
In Lesson 3 of the Exploring Ecosystems: Biodiversity in My Backyard curriculum, students will understand how biodiversity is calculated by using a model of a Rocky Mountain forest. Students will research species that live in the ecosystem and play...   View Details »

Key Concepts: ecosystems, biodiversity, wildlife, math, statistics


Exploring Ecosystems: Lesson 4, Climate Change and Endangered Species
In Lesson 4 of the Exploring Ecosystems: Biodiversity in My Backyard curriculum, students will study various climates around the world by exploring global data and comparing different cities. Identify how your actions contribute to climate change...   View Details »

Key Concepts: ecosystems, biodiversity, wildlife, climate change, endangered species, geography


Exploring Ecosystems: Lesson 5, Schoolyard biodiversity study
In Lesson 5 of Exploring Ecosystems: Biodiversity in My Backyard, students will become adventure scientists, by exploring the biodiversity of their schoolyard. Use a field journal to plan and prepare for your adventure, collect data in the field,...   View Details »

Key Concepts: biodiversity, ecology, ecosystems, wildlife, plants, data, research


Extreme Yellowstone Expedition (full curriculum)
Extreme Yellowstone Expedition (EYE) is a series of activities and lesson plans for middle schools geared to the Next Generation Science Standards and focusing on astrobiology and Yellowstone National Park. Based on an actual scientific expedition...   View Details »

Key Concepts: yellowstone national park, astrobiology, expedition


Extreme Yellowstone Expedition: Lesson 1, Intro to Yellowstone
Students will be introduced to Yellowstone National Park through a mapping activity and examine facts and statistics about the Park. They will also learn about the scientifically valuable microbial life that lives in Yellowstone’s...   View Details »

Key Concepts: Yellowstone, mapping, statistics, microbes, plan, expedition


Extreme Yellowstone Expedition: Lesson 2, Limits of Life
Students will learn about limits of life and environmental gradients through a progression of activities. Students will be introduced to gradients by analyzing photos of familiar landscapes (a beach and a valley). Students will then explore which...   View Details »

Key Concepts: abiotic, gradients, measure, graph, pH, extremophiles, metabolism, niches, microbe


Extreme Yellowstone Expedition: Lesson 3, Microbial Mats and Aliens
In this lesson, students will discover why scientists looking for life on other planets are so interested in microbial mats. Students will also analyze a sample core they collect from a "microbial mat" (actually a layered cupcake) while...   View Details »

Key Concepts: microbes, microbial, mats, aliens, population, energy, flow