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Life Science

Interactives for Students


Animals

Ancient Creature of the Deep
In "Coelacanth Quiz," test your knowledge of a "living fossil," the coelacanth, with a 10-question true-or-false quiz. Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Animal Hospital
In "Name that Animal," match seven different exotic animals with their correct names to discover more information about each animal. (No plug-in required.) Grades 3-5, 6-8.

Ape Genius
In "Our Family Tree," compare and contrast humans' social grouping, temperament, diet, and more with the four other great apes, and hear what each one sounds like. (Flash plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12

Crocodiles!
In "Anatomy of a Croc," click on a photograph of a crocodile to find the secrets behind its success as an apex predator. (Flash plug-in required; non-Flash version available.) Grades 3-5, 6-8.

Deep Sea Invasion
In "Matching Aliens with Impacts," try to match 10 successful invaders with the damage they've caused in their new environments. (Flash plug-in required; non-Flash version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Dogs and More Dogs
In "Dogs Around the World," match modern dog breeds with the country or region where their forebears arose. (Flash plug-in required; non-Flash version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Evolution: Darwin's Dangerous Idea
In "An Origin of Species," follow the evolutionary path of four pollenpeepers, birds that survived in disparate environments due to adaptive radiation. (Shockwave plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Evolution: Great Transformations
In "All in the Family," build a family tree by choosing organisms that are related and explore the anatomy, development, and molecular aspects of each. (Shockwave plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Evolution: The Evolutionary Arms Race
In "Coral Reef Connections," take a dive on the Great Barrier Reef to discover species that have evolved as partners, adversaries, and enemies. (Shockwave plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Evolution: Why Sex?
In "The Mating Game," choose the best evolutionary mate for a red-crested grebe, burrowing beetle, sage grouse, eastern gray treefrog, and satin bowerbird. (Shockwave plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Island of the Spirits
In "Find Your Way," take on the role of a salmon migrating from the open ocean to a stream far inland. (Shockwave plug-in required.) Grades 6-8.

Kingdom of the Seahorse
In "Seahorse Basics," learn about the anatomy of and threats to this unusual fish. Grades 3-5, 6-8.

Kings of Camouflage
In "Anatomy of a Cuttlefish," learn more about how this master of deception and disguise functions by taking a closer look at its parts. (Flash plug-in required; printable version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Last Great Ape, The
In "Our Family Tree," take a look at what sets humans and the four other hominids -- the gorilla, chimpanzee, bonobo, and orangutan -- apart from one another and hear what each one sounds like. (Flash plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Leopards of the Night
In "Seeing Through Camouflage," distinguish among the four types of camouflage animals and insects use, including concealing and disruptive coloration, disguise, and mimicry. (Shockwave required; non-Shockwave version available.) Grades 3-5, 6-8.

Orchid Hunter
In "Classifying Life," classify a bear, an orchid, and a sea cucumber according to descriptions of selected kingdoms, phyla, classes, orders, families, genera, and species. (Flash plug-in required; non-Flash version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Population Explosion
In "Population Explosion" see what happens to a forest ecosystem when oak trees produce a superabundance of acorns. (Flash plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Secrets of the Crocodile Caves
In "Who's Who of Crocodilians," click on a map to learn more about the diet, habitat, distribution, conservation, and size of all 23 crocodilian species worldwide. (Flash plug-in required; non-Flash version available.) Grades 3-5, 6-8.

Shark Attack!
In "The Hunt," learn about the six senses the shark uses to hunt its prey. Grades 3-5, 6-8.

Tales from the Hive
In "Dances with Bees," learn about and then interpret the languages of bee dances. (QuickTime plug-in required.) Grades 6-8.

Volcanoes of the Deep
In "Inside a Tubeworm," click on parts of an illustrated tubeworm to learn how these animals filter food, reproduce, handle waste materials, and stay safe from predators. (Frames required; non-frames version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Wild Wolves
In "The Wolf-Dog Connection," sort fact from fiction in 10 true/false statements. Grades 3-5, 6-8.


Botany

Chasing El Niño
In "Into Living Things," see how scientists use tree rings, ice cores, and coral reef cores to better understand climates of the past. (No plug-in required.) Grades 6-8.

Deep Sea Invasion
In "Matching Aliens with Impacts," try to match 10 successful invaders with the damage they've caused in their new environments. (Flash plug-in required; non-Flash version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

First Flower
In "Pick the Pollinator," match seven plants with their pollinators and find out how flowering plants have come to dominate the botanical world. (Flash plug-in required; printable version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Harvest of Fear
In "Engineer a Crop," compare the traditional method of selective breeding with one of the latest transgenic methods. (Shockwave plug-in required for selective breeding; Flash plug-in required for transgenic manipulation.) Grades 9-12.

Japan's Secret Garden
In "Build a Rice Paddy," step through an animation to learn how a rice paddy is formed. (Flash plug-in required; non-Flash version available.) Grades 3-5, 6-8.

Orchid Hunter
In "Classifying Life," classify a bear, an orchid, and a sea cucumber according to descriptions of selected kingdoms, phyla, classes, orders, families, genera, and species. (Flash plug-in required; non-Flash version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Population Explosion
In "Population Explosion" see what happens to a forest ecosystem when oak trees produce a superabundance of acorns. (Flash plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Vikings, The
In "Build a Tree-Ring Timeline," learn about dendrochronology and analyze patterns to build a virtual tree-ring timeline. (Shockwave plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Warriors of the Amazon
In "Plant Magic," learn what ethnobotany is and how pine, mint, and garlic can be used medicinally. Grades 6-8, 9-12.


Classification

Deep Sea Invasion
In "Matching Aliens with Impacts," try to match 10 successful invaders with the damage they've caused in their new environments. (Flash plug-in required; non-Flash version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Dogs and More Dogs
In "Dogs Around the World," match modern dog breeds with the country or region where their forebears arose. (Flash plug-in required; non-Flash version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Evolution: Great Transformations
In "All in the Family," build a family tree by choosing organisms that are related and explore the anatomy, development, and molecular aspects of each. (Shockwave plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Last Great Ape, The
In "Our Family Tree," take a look at what sets humans and the four other hominids -- the gorilla, chimpanzee, bonobo, and orangutan -- apart from one another and hear what each one sounds like. (Flash plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Orchid Hunter
In "Classifying Life," classify a bear, an orchid, and a sea cucumber according to descriptions of selected kingdoms, phyla, classes, orders, families, genera, and species. (Flash plug-in required; non-Flash version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Origins: How Life Began
In "A Brief History of Life," explore the history of life on Earth in a geological time scale that divides Earth's history into eras, periods, and epochs. (Flash plug-in required; non-Flash version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.


Ecology

Animal Hospital
In "Name that Animal," match seven different exotic animals with their correct names to discover more information about each animal. (No plug-in required.) Grades 3-5, 6-8.

Deep Sea Invasion
In "Matching Aliens with Impacts," try to match 10 successful invaders with the damage they've caused in their new environments. (Flash plug-in required; non-Flash version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Dirty Bomb
In "Sources of Radiation," learn about naturally occurring and manmade sources of radiation, their atomic nature, and what makes each type safe or harmful to life. (Flash plug-in required; non-Flash version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Evolution: Darwin's Dangerous Idea
In "An Origin of Species," follow the evolutionary path of four pollenpeepers, birds that survived in disparate environments due to adaptive radiation. (Shockwave plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Evolution: The Evolutionary Arms Race
In "Coral Reef Connections," take a dive on the Great Barrier Reef to discover species that have evolved as partners, adversaries, and enemies. (Shockwave plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Fire Wars
In "Wildfire Simulator," use a computer simulation to see how wind speed and direction can affect a fire's spread and how firelines and backfires are used to control fires. (Shockwave plug-in required; non-Shockwave version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Harvest of Fear
In "Engineer a Crop," compare the traditional method of selective breeding with one of the latest transgenic methods. (Shockwave plug-in required for selective breeding; Flash plug-in required for transgenic manipulation.) Grades 9-12.

Island of the Spirits
In "Find Your Way," take on the role of a salmon migrating from the open ocean to a stream far inland. (Shockwave plug-in required.) Grades 6-8.

Kingdom of the Seahorse
In "Seahorse Basics," learn about the anatomy of and threats to this unusual fish. Grades 3-5, 6-8.

Leopards of the Night
In "Seeing Through Camouflage," distinguish among the four types of camouflage animals and insects use, including concealing and disruptive coloration, disguise, and mimicry. (Shockwave required; non-Shockwave version available.) Grades 3-5, 6-8.

Odyssey of Life, Part I -- The Ultimate Journey
In "Creepy Crawlies," discover some of the microbes that live in a house and on a body. Grades 3-5, 6-8.

Population Explosion
In "Population Explosion" see what happens to a forest ecosystem when oak trees produce a superabundance of acorns. (Flash plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Secrets of the Crocodile Caves
In "Who's Who of Crocodilians," click on a map to learn more about the diet, habitat, distribution, conservation, and size of all 23 crocodilian species worldwide. (Flash plug-in required; non-Flash version available.) Grades 3-5, 6-8.

Tales from the Hive
In "Dances with Bees," learn about and then interpret the languages of bee dances. (QuickTime plug-in required.) Grades 6-8.

Warnings from the Ice
In "Live and Breathe Antarctica," consider what it is like to live and work in Antarctica and meet one astronomer who works there. Grades 3-5, 6-8.

What's Up With the Weather?
In "Your Carbon Diet," navigate around a typical New England house to find what drains energy and what can be done to make a home more energy efficient. (Shockwave plug-in required.) Grades 3-5, 6-8.

World in the Balance
In "Global Trends Quiz," test your understanding of the population trends in three areas: the developed world, the developing world, and the environmental challenges associated with each. (Flash plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.


Entomology

Leopards of the Night
In "Seeing Through Camouflage," distinguish among the four types of camouflage animals and insects use, including concealing and disruptive coloration, disguise, and mimicry. (Shockwave required; non-Shockwave version available.) Grades 3-5, 6-8.

Lord of the Ants
In "Amazing Ants Game," see eight different types of ants and match them to their habits and abilities. (Flash plug-in required; printable version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Master of the Killer Ants
In "Amazing Ants Game" see eight different types of ants and match them to their habits and abilities. (Flash plug-in required; printable version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Odyssey of Life, Part I -- The Ultimate Journey
In "Creepy Crawlies," discover some of the microbes that live in a house and on a body. Grades 3-5, 6-8.

Tales from the Hive
In "Dances with Bees," learn about and then interpret the languages of bee dances. (QuickTime plug-in required.) Grades 6-8.


Evolution

Ancient Creature of the Deep
In "Coelacanth Quiz," test your knowledge of a "living fossil," the coelacanth, with a 10-question true-or-false quiz. Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Evolution: Darwin's Dangerous Idea
In "An Origin of Species," follow the evolutionary path of four pollenpeepers, birds that survived in disparate environments due to adaptive radiation. (Shockwave plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Evolution: Great Transformations
In "All in the Family," build a family tree by choosing organisms that are related and explore the anatomy, development, and molecular aspects of each. (Shockwave plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Evolution: The Evolutionary Arms Race
In "Coral Reef Connections," take a dive on the Great Barrier Reef to discover species that have evolved as partners, adversaries, and enemies. (Shockwave plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Evolution: The Mind's Big Bang
In "Riddle of the Bones," explore the remains of early human ancestors to understand how they moved, what they looked like, and when they lived. (Shockwave plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Evolution: Why Sex?
In "The Mating Game," choose the best evolutionary mate for a red-crested grebe, burrowing beetle, sage grouse, eastern gray treefrog, and satin bowerbird. (Shockwave plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Family That Walks on All Fours
In "Compare the Skeletons," see what made walking upright possible by examining the bone structures of a chimpanzee, an early human ancestor, and a modern human. (Flash plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial
In "Fossil Evidence" see five examples of transitional forms that verify evolution and bridge the evolutionary gap between two completely different types of animal. (Flash plug-in required; printable version available.) Grades 9-12.

Last Flight of Bomber 31
In "Identifying Remains with DNA," click on a family tree to see how kinship is revealed through nuclear and mitochondrial DNA and find a link to a feature showing mtDNA's role in tracing human ancestry. (Flash plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Last Great Ape, The
In "Our Family Tree," take a look at what sets humans and the four other hominids -- the gorilla, chimpanzee, bonobo, and orangutan -- apart from one another and hear what each one sounds like. (Flash plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Missing Link, The
In "Evolution through Mutation," change the environment of "living" things and see how random mutations can bring about evolutionary change. (Shockwave plug-in required.) Grades 3-5, 6-8.

Name That Tune
In "Bird Brains," students compare the sequence of amino acids in a gene shared between humans and five other organisms and infer evolutionary relationships between the species.

Neanderthals on Trial
In "Dig and Deduce," uncover bones and artifacts in three virtual digs and then read about what the evidence suggests. (Flash plug-in required ; non-Flash version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Origins: Earth is Born
In "The Origins Game," match 14 origins research discoveries to where in the world they were made. (Flash plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Origins: How Life Began
In "A Brief History of Life," explore the history of life on Earth in a geological time scale that divides Earth's history into eras, periods, and epochs. (Flash plug-in required; non-Flash version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Science Odyssey, A: In Search of Ourselves
In "Human Evolution," slide through time to see human ancestors and how they may be related. (Shockwave plug-in required; non-Shockwave version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.


Genetics

Cracking the Code of Life
In "Explore a Stretch of Code," explore an actual stretch of human DNA and see what the experts see. (Shockwave plug-in required; non-Shockwave version available.) Grades 9-12.

Cracking the Code of Life
In "Journey into DNA," zoom in to 15 different levels to see DNA's relationship to a human, beginning with the body and ending with the atoms that make up a single DNA base. (Flash plug-in required; non-Flash version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Eighteen Ways to Make a Baby
In "How Cells Divide," find out how meiosis and mitosis work in a 15-step animated comparison of the two. (Requires Flash plug-in; non-Flash version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Evolution: Great Transformations
In "All in the Family," build a family tree by choosing organisms that are related and explore the anatomy, development, and molecular aspects of each. (Shockwave plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Evolution: The Evolutionary Arms Race
In "Coral Reef Connections," take a dive on the Great Barrier Reef to discover species that have evolved as partners, adversaries, and enemies. (Shockwave plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Family That Walks on All Fours
In "Compare the Skeletons," see what made walking upright possible by examining the bone structures of a chimpanzee, an early human ancestor, and a modern human. (Flash plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Four Tests
In "Four Tests," read four hypothetical scenarios of what DNA testing can reveal, then vote on whether you would choose to undergo the test and see how others have voted. (Flash plug-in required.)

Ghost in Your Genes
In "A Tale of Two Mice," find out how the epigenome can make identical-twin mice appear very different. (Flash plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Harvest of Fear
In "Engineer a Crop," compare the traditional method of selective breeding with one of the latest transgenic methods. (Shockwave plug-in required for selective breeding; Flash plug-in required for transgenic manipulation.) Grades 9-12.

Killer's Trail, The
In "Create a DNA Fingerprint," create a DNA fragment in a virtual lab and analyze it to solve a mystery. (Shockwave plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Last Flight of Bomber 31
In "Identifying Remains with DNA," click on a family tree to see how kinship is revealed through nuclear and mitochondrial DNA and find a link to a feature showing mtDNA's role in tracing human ancestry. (Flash plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Life's Greatest Miracle
In "How Cells Divide," find out how meiosis and mitosis work in a 15-step animated comparison of the two. (Requires Flash plug-in; non-Flash version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Lost Tribes of Israel
In "Build a Family Tree (Men Only)," use DNA information from the Y chromosome to complete a male family tree. (Shockwave plug-in required.) Grades 9-12.

Missing Link, The
In "Evolution through Mutation," change the environment of "living" things and see how random mutations can bring about evolutionary change. (Shockwave plug-in required.) Grades 3-5, 6-8.

Name That Tune
In "Bird Brains," students compare the sequence of amino acids in a gene shared between humans and five other organisms and infer evolutionary relationships between the species.

NOVA scienceNOW: Aging
In "Healthy Old Age," follow a yeast cell as it ages and learn what role a sirtuin gene may play in keeping the yeast young. (Flash plug-in required; printable version available.) Grades 9-12.

Science Odyssey, A: Matters of Life and Death
In "DNA Workshop," perform the processes of DNA replication and protein synthesis. (Shockwave plug-in required; non-Shockwave version available.) Grades 9-12.

Secret of Photo 51
In "Anatomy of Photo 51," learn about X-ray diffraction and follow a step-by-step explanation, accompanied by diagrams, of Photo 51. (Flash plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Secret of Photo 51
In "Anatomy of Photo 51," learn about X-ray diffraction and follow a step-by-step explanation, accompanied by diagrams, of Photo 51. (Flash plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Sex: Unknown
In "How Is Sex Determined?," follow the sex development of a male or female embryo in the first 16 weeks of development. (Flash plug-in required; non-Flash version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.


Microbiology

Arms Race With a Superbug
In "Arms Race with a Superbug," learn how strains of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria have developed defenses against every antibiotic ever developed. (Flash plug-in required; printable version available.)

Odyssey of Life, Part I -- The Ultimate Journey
In "Creepy Crawlies," discover some of the microbes that live in a house and on a body. Grades 3-5, 6-8.

Surviving AIDS
In "Fighting Back," step into the immune system and work to eliminate a mumps virus that enters the body. (Shockwave plug-in required; non-Shockwave version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.


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