This activity sheet for young children is designed to be completed during a visit to the Museum's Hall of Planet Earth. The printable two-page handout includes notes on the rough terrain found on the ocean floors, a hall map that directs kids to seven numbered areas with observation activities, a hall-wide writing and drawing activity for the rocks on display and a collection of fun facts.
In this classroom activity, students work in groups to test a variety of fabrics to determine each one's effectiveness as an insulator. The printable five-page handout includes a series of inquiry-based questions to get students thinking about the conditions in Antarctica and the properties of specialty fabrics, illustrated activity directions and a worksheet that includes areas for recording their experiment data, and questions that prompt students to compare their results against their original hypotheses.
This OLogy activity introduces kids to the concept of biodiversity by helping them discover the diversity of their local bird population. To begin, students create a simple bird feeder from a milk/juice carton or a plastic soda bottle. They then fill the feeder with black-oil sunflower seeds, popular with a range of birds. In addition, they are given a list of additional foods to experiment with, such as millet, raisins, and breakfast cereal. Students track the birds that visit their feeder in field journals, making note of the kinds of foods used and the number of birds from each species that visit. Along with step-by-step directions for creating and hanging the feeder, the activity also includes tips for attracting more or fewer visitors.
Students learn how CCD cameras use color filters to create astronomical images in this Moveable Museum unit. The four-page PDF guide includes suggested general background readings for educators, activity notes, and step-by-step directions. Students look at black-and-white photos to understand gray scale and construct simple red and green cellophane filters and observe magazine images through them.
This classroom activity gives students an appreciation for the difficulties deep sea researchers must face in order to find hydrothermal vents. Working in small groups, students can complete this Web investigation in a single class period. The printable handout includes a series of inquiry-based questions that prompt students to use what they already know about mid-ocean ridges to hypothesize about how scientists locate deep sea vents, detailed directions for a Web research project that takes them on a virtual deep sea journey investigating hydrothermal vents, and a worksheet that helps students apply their building knowledge to locate a vent in the northern Pacific Ocean.
About 4.6 billion years ago, a cloud of interstellar dust, ice crystals, and gas collapsed to form a rapidly rotating disk with a young sun at its center: our solar system. This comic strip, a supplement to the Hall of Meteorites Educator's Guide, explains the processes that led to the creation of the planets and the asteroid belt.
In this classroom activity, middle school students simulate a "dinosaur dig." The activity opens with background information for teachers about fossils. Working in groups, students excavate fossil sites created in advance by the teacher, or other group of students, and try to reconstruct a chicken skeleton. The activity closes with a two-page student worksheet that directs students to diagram the fossil site and includes probing questions to help them decode their findings.
In this Digital Universe activity, students learn firsthand about estimation strategies and observational bias. They estimate how common several celestial objects are based on their location and make inferences about larger population patterns throughout the galaxy. The printable PDF activity includes illustrated step-by-step instructions for the following hands-on and computer-assisted activities: Introduction to Celestial Objects, Broad Distribution of Objects in the Galaxy and Making Galactic Estimates
Students learn how a telescope's aperture determines how much light it can gather in this Moveable Museum unit. It has three procedures, one of which is optional. The four-page PDF guide includes suggested general background readings for educators, activity notes, step-by-step directions, and information about where to obtain supplies. In this activity, the light collector is not a lens or a mirror, but a hole in a cardboard box. Light enters through the hole and lights up the box. Users can change the size of the hole and see how the amount of light entering the box changes. The results show why increasing the aperture of a telescope increases the amount of light it can collect.
This OLogy activity takes a look at some of the more amusing traits that are determined by genetics. Students answer four yes/no questions, and then compare their answers with others.
The Museum's Gottesman Hall of Planet Earth allows visitors to explore geologic time and to gain an understanding of the methods scientists use to study vast Earth systems. This comprehensive guide to the hall's resources is designed to help you maximize your trip to the Museum with elementary school students. It includes detailed background information, a map of the hall that shows the five sections of the exhibit and several pre-, during-, and post-visit activities to do with your students. There is a listing of related Museum exhibits and suggestions for how to tie them into your field trip and notes about how the topics featured in the hall address performance standards and curriculum requirements.
We owe our lives to gravity. It holds the atmosphere to Earth and keeps us all from falling off into space. Not to mention that without gravity, the stars and planets—including Earth—wouldn't even exist! This Moveable Museum article, available as a nine-page printable PDF file, introduces the key concepts of gravity, orbits, weight, and weightlessness.
In this classroom activity, young students are introduced to sets and subsets. The activity opens with background information for teachers about cladistics. After brainstorming different ways to group the class itself, students work in small groups to identify subsets of coins. The groups then complete a worksheet that challenges them to group dinosaurs into sets and subsets and share their results with the class.
In this biodiversity activity, students learn how to construct their own cladogram. They consider four coins (quarter, dime, nickel, penny), identifying defining characteristics. Then, students construct a Venn diagram, followed by a cladogram. The two-page printable PDF includes tips for both teachers and students.
In this biodiversity activity, students learn how to construct their own dichotomous keys. They use either specimens they've collected or ones you bring into class, such as shells, fruit, or leaves. The one-page printable PDF includes guidelines about what students should look for and include when creating their dichotomous keys.
These two biodiversity exercises will help students become familiar with the methods of scientific research. The printable seven-page PDF guide includes Studying Biodiversity in Arizona, where students review a paper written by one of the museum's Young Naturalist Award winners and deconstruct her scientific investigation and Biodiversity in Our Own Backyards,where students use a Biodiversity Counts activity (included in the guide) to investigate the interaction of living things near where they live.
This activity is designed to be used with the online text and graphics that are part of the Transformation of the Biosphere Wall in the Hall of Biodiversity. The one-page printable PDF includes two student activities: a general investigation of a threat to the world's biodiversity and a specific investigation of the concrete way in which one of these threats has affected the U.S. environment.
This printable PDF map of the museum's Hall of Biodiversity identifies the eight key stops to hit during your visit, including a photograph of each.
This treasure-hunt activity is designed to be completed during a trip to the museum's Hall of Biodiversity. The printable one-page PDF challenges students to find 31 animals and plants in the Hall's diorama. Photographs of 21 of these specimens are included.
The museum's Milstein Family Hall of Ocean Life explores the diverse, complex web of life supported by the ocean and the vital inter-relationships between human and aquatic systems. This insert to the hall guide is designed to help you maximize your trip to the museum.