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Insect Mouth Parts

This is a series of classroom activities that teach students about the diversity of structure within the insect world and how those structures affect insect behavior. Students observe, compare, and describe -- both verbally and in writing -- how different insects are able to eat different types of foods and thus live in diverse environments where those foods are found. Students learn that closer inspection of small living things like insects reveals significant clues to diet and habitat. ...     View Details »

Key Concepts: Life Science, Insects, Insect Morphology

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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


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: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


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


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