Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
SAF Archives  search ask the scientists in the classroom cool science
on the islands
cyber field trip
for students
for teachers
cyber field trip

teaching guide

more activities

teacher contest

related frontiers activities

web resources
galapagos homepage
Destination: Galapagos Islands Cyber Field Trip

Cyber Field Trip Teaching Guide

The following five activities were designed by teacher ambassador Sherri Steward for classroom use in conjunction with the Frontiers Galapagos expedition. They are intended to provide students with a chance to make scientific investigations that are fundamental to understanding the total environment -- one that's familiar, like your school or hometown, and one that's exotic to us, like the Galapagos Islands. Have fun!

This guide contains the complete materials lists, procedures and critical thinking questions for the activities that are available in the For Students section. This teaching guide also contains information about objectives, National Science Education Standards and other special educator resources. We suggest you direct students to the appropriate activities in the For Students section.

Review the activities and materials lists to plan in advance for these activities so that they can be conducted in class during the expedition. You can also use them when appropriate within your curriculum or to complement lessons about related topics.
  • Water World: The Blue Planet -- During the trip, Sherri will test water samples in the Galapagos for salinity, dissolved oxygen and pH. Your students can conduct the same tests and compare their results.

  • Taxonomic Fun: Classifying the Life Around Us -- By examining a variety of organisms, students will create their own systems of classification.

  • Test the Earth: Soil Comparison Between the Galapagos Islands and Your Home -- During the trip, Sherri will test soil samples in the Galapagos for nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium content, pH and temperature. Your students can conduct the same tests and compare their results.

  • DNA Adventure: The Web of Life -- Using DNA modeling, students will analyze the degree of relatedness of one species to another. This activity provides a crucial piece of background for an understanding of Darwin's theory of natural selection, which was formed as a result of his visit to the Galapagos Islands.

  • Backyard Science: How Ecosystems Work -- Students emerge from the classroom to do "field work" in the schoolyard and learn about population density.


Scientific American Frontiers
Fall 1990 to Spring 2000
Sponsored by GTE Corporation,
now a part of Verizon Communications Inc.