Life Science
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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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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

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

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