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Vaccination stories – Virus project

By | 2017-05-30T10:29:07+00:00 May 30th, 2017|Biology|

Talk to your grandparents about vaccinations Until the 1950s, most people never got any vaccinations at all. To see how much kids' lives have changed because of vaccination, find somebody who was a kid in the 1940s or 1950s (They would be about 65 or 75 years old now - your grandparents might [...]

What is a vascular system? Plant biology

By | 2017-05-30T10:22:18+00:00 May 30th, 2017|Biology|

Veins in a leaf About 600 million years ago, the first plant cells evolved to be different from animal cells, and from earlier prokaryote cells, because they had a stiff cell wall made of molecules of carbon and oxygen, with some other elements like hydrogen, nitrogen, and calcium as well. In plants, the [...]

What are conifers? Pine trees, gymnosperms

By | 2017-05-30T10:19:11+00:00 May 30th, 2017|Biology|

Spruce tree - a type of gymnosperm and conifer Near the end of the Carboniferous period, about 300 million years ago, the land on Earth got a lot drier than it had been before. It was drier because plate tectonics was bringing all of the land together into one big continent, Pangaea. Plants that [...]

Collecting pine cones – Gymnosperms project

By | 2017-05-30T10:10:58+00:00 May 30th, 2017|Biology|

Squirrel eats pine seeds from a cone Go take a walk outside in the fall and collect pine cones on the ground. How many different kinds of pine cones can you find? Can you figure out which tree makes which kind of pine cone? Sit quietly near a pine tree and watch squirrels [...]

Looking at flowers – Angiosperms project – Biology

By | 2017-05-30T09:52:24+00:00 May 30th, 2017|Biology|

Daffodil with petals and pistil in the middle. Take a long walk around your neighborhood and the park in the late spring and look at all the flowers you see. Can you find ten different kinds of flowers? What does each of these flowers do to attract bees? Is it their color? Their [...]

Flowering plants – Evolution and Biology

By | 2017-05-30T09:44:04+00:00 May 30th, 2017|Biology|

Lavender flowers smell wonderful! For millions of years, the Earth was covered with ferns and pine trees and moss and mushrooms, without any flowers, grass, or fruit. But about 120 million years ago, in the Cretaceous period, some of these pine trees developed a new way to scatter their seeds that turned out to [...]

What is seaweed? Plant evolution and biology

By | 2017-05-30T09:36:19+00:00 May 30th, 2017|Biology|

Seaweed in the ocean For the first two billion years of life on Earth, there were only one-celled creatures. But after early eukaryote cells started to reproduce by meiosis in addition to mitosis, about 1.4 billion years ago, they were able to evolve faster by mixing up their DNA with the DNA from other cells. They [...]

Eating seaweed – Biology activity – Science

By | 2017-05-30T09:31:17+00:00 May 30th, 2017|Biology|

A beach in Tunisia, in North Africa To find out more about seaweed, take a trip to the coast and go wading in the water. There is seaweed on pretty much any seashore, and you'll feel it winding around your feet as soon as you get in the water. There is also freshwater [...]

What is a spore? – Plant reproduction – Biology

By | 2017-09-17T23:14:40+00:00 May 30th, 2017|Biology|

Fern spores on the underside of a frond When plants like moss first began to grow outside the water, about 540 million years ago, they needed a way to reproduce themselves that didn't depend on water so much. Some of these plants evolved to be able to produce spores. To make spores, plants [...]

Seeds – Plant reproduction – Biology

By | 2017-05-30T09:22:25+00:00 May 30th, 2017|Biology|

Dandelion seeds A seed is the egg cell of a plant, with a hard wrapper around it so it can survive on its own. The earliest plants with seeds evolved from plants with spores during the late Devonian period, about 360 million years ago. The seeds made a hard wrapper around the plant's [...]