Students explore the extraordinary adaptions and diversity of terrestrial arthropods through short Shape of Life videos and student-centered activities. Engage students by showing a short clip of an interesting arthropod phenomenon with the audio muted. Students identify the structures of all arthropods with th esupport of on eor more video segments. Students will record notes about physical and behavioral adaptions, then create a diagram of their favorite arthropod species, labeling its structures and adding annotations to describe their functions.
Time: 45-90 min
Students explore the extraordinary adaptations and diversity of marine arthropods through short Shape of Life videos and student-centered activities in the 5E Instructional Model. Options to engage students include showing a short clip of an interesting marine arthropod phenomenon with the audio muted. Then students identify the structures of all arthropods with the support of one or more video segments. Students will record notes about physical and behavioral adaptations, then create a diagram of their favorite marine arthropod species, labeling its structures and adding annotations to describe their functions. Possible Enrich / Extend activities are listed at the end of the lesson, including a design thinking / biomimicry / engineering activity inspired by arthropod adaptations, a comparison activity, and field studies to investigate the arthropods in nearby natural areas -- or even the supermarket.
Time: 45-90 min
“You will never believe this... when you emailed me this morning, I was using Shape of Life in a virtual marine science summer camp that I am leading. I am currently teaching a program called "Something's Fishy" for youth ages 7-9, and your website really came in handy.”
Learn more about Katrina and the herculean task of teaching summer programs in the time of COVID-1
"When I travel to annelid biology conferences around the world, there is usually someone who asks to take a selfie with me so that they can show their students back home that they met the Worm Woman from the Shape of Life Annelid episode!"
Glass sponges get their name from their spicules built from silica – glass. Sponges don’t have skeletons like ours; instead they have spicules, which are the structural components like bricks. The glass sponge’s design has intrigued engineers who want to understand how they build glass structures of such strength.
“Darwin's Paradox” asks how productive and diverse ecosystems like coral reefs thrive in the ocean equivalent of a desert with few nutrients.
The answer is sponges. Sponges are key components of coral reefs worldwide. They provide nutrients to reef organisms in what scientists call the “sponge loop.” In 2013 scientists discovered that sponges living on coral reefs are part of a highly efficient recycling loop for dissolved organic matter (DOM) shed by algae and corals.
“The largest source of energy and nutrients produced on the reef consist of things you cannot see,” said Jasper M. de Goeij, a marine biologist at the University of Amsterdam. “And no one else but sponges can make use of that source.”
As sponges pump huge amounts of water through their bodies, they absorb DOM, converting it into cellular waste that becomes food for reef consumers. Coral reef ecosystems could not thrive without sponges.
“If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos.”
Of the 2200 species in five insect orders tracked by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, nearly half are declining. Scientists worldwide are sounding the alarm and point to a confluence of causes: habitat loss, pesticides and climate change.
Here’s what you can do to help: SIGN Pollinator Protection Pledge