Search Results

an aerial view of a forest

Earth May Be Hiding Thousands of Tree Species

In this guide, students will learn about scientists’ efforts to estimate how many tree species Earth has, analyze a related data visualization and discuss the implications the research has for conservation.

Mapping biodiversity

Students will look at data from a primary research article to explore how tree biodiversity differs across continents and biomes.

Counting Earth’s tree species

Students will answer questions about the online Science News article “Earth may have 9,200 more tree species than previously thought,” which describes researchers’ efforts to estimate the number of tree species on Earth. A version of the article, “Earth may be hiding thousands of tree species,” appears in the March 12, 2022 issue of Science News
two humpback whales emerging from the ocean to feed

Whales Eat More Than We Thought

In this guide, students will learn how scientists estimated the food intake of certain whale species and discuss nutrient cycling and conservation of matter within ecosystems.

Cycling through an ecosystem

Students will discuss nutrient cycling and conservation of matter, and how these concepts can be observed in an ecosystem.

Rethinking whale appetites

Students will answer questions about the online Science News article “Baleen whales eat (and poop) a lot more than we realized,” which details scientists’ efforts to accurately estimate how much certain whale species eat and what that means for ecosystems. A version of the article, “Whales eat more than we thought,” appears in the December 4, 2021 issue of Science News.
two bald eagles in a tree

Elusive Killer in Eagle Die-Offs ID’d

In this guide, students will learn about scientists’ quest to solve mysterious bird deaths, discuss how invasive species affect ecosystems and research an invasive species in their region.

Investigating invasive species

Students will define invasive species and discuss how certain species affect ecosystems and human society. Then, students will research invasive species in their region and devise an invasiveness rating scale.

Science mystery solvers

Students will answer questions about the online Science News article “A toxin behind mysterious eagle die-offs may have finally been found,” which explores scientists’ quest to ID a suspect in mass bird deaths. A version of the story, “Elusive killer in eagle die-offs ID’d,” appears in the April 24, 2021 issue of Science News.

Creating a vascular plant’s ecological niche

Students will learn about the ecological niche concept, conduct online surveys of vascular plants found in a biodiverse region of South Africa, conduct field surveys of vascular plants found in a local ecosystem and present a poster describing the ecological niche for a vascular plant of their choice.

Starting small to curb climate change

When it comes to fighting global warming, it’s hard to know where to start. How can individuals make meaningful contributions to this effort? This activity, designed for in-class or at-home learning, encourages students to find ways they can reduce their own carbon footprints, as well as help others work toward the same goal.
Tongue-dwelling bacteria

Where Bacteria Live On Our Tongues

In this guide, students will learn about bacterial communities on the human tongue and use existing knowledge of interspecific interactions to create metaphors about relationships in the students’ own communities. In an activity, students will practice note-taking and summarizing skills.