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Nature Works Everywhere: Virtual Field Trip to Coastal Peru

Witness the Amazing Biodiversity of a Coastal Ecosystem

The next LIVE virtual field trip is just around the corner!  You are not going to want to miss this exciting trip into the most productive marine ecosystem in the world.

Virtual field trips provide the perfect way to travel with your students to exotic destinations without having to leave the classroom.  Brought to you for free by The Nature Conservancy and Nature Works Everywhere, these virtual experiences combine science, history, culture and geography into a integrated unit of study that truly packs a punch.  The resources being provided to classroom teachers by Nature Works Everywhere are truly incredible.  Use this link to view videos with accompanying lesson plans, as well as the five previous virtual field trips.

Now for the essential information about the upcoming field trip:

Title:  How Nature Works in Coastal Peru - The Amazing Biodiversity of a Coastal Ecosystem

Date:  Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Time:  12:00 noon Eastern Time

Length of virtual event:  45 minutes

How do I sign up?  Use this link to register now for the live virtual event.

What if I can't watch on March 16?  Register anyway to receive the YouTube viewing link.  This will allow you to watch anytime after the live event has concluded.  The virtual field trip will also be posted at a later date on the Nature Works Everywhere web site as well as on Vimeo.  Once these versions are ready, you will be sent the links in a newsletter.

How much does it cost?  FREE!  Participation in the live event and all of the high-quality downloadable lesson plans, worksheets, and activities are absolutely free!

Tell me more about the upcoming field trip!  Your host will be fisheries scientist, Matias Caillaux, from The Nature Conservancy.  He will lead you on an exploration of the Humboldt Current Ecosystem off the coast of Peru.  The Humboldt current is a cold ocean current that flows north along the west coast of South America from the southern tip of Chili to northern Peru.  It is one of the major upwelling systems in the world, supporting an incredible abundance of marine life.

The Humboldt Current Large Marine Ecosystem is the most productive marine ecosystem in the world, as well as the largest upwelling system.  Because of its high rate of primary and secondary productivity, approximately 18-20% of the world's fish catch comes from the Humboldt Current Large Marine Ecosystem.  This forms the basis of a unique and abundant ecosystem of fish, sea birds, penguins and marine mammals.

Students will learn about biodiversity, explore ancient island carvings, examine the region's fishing industry, and discover what is being done to conserve this valuable and vulnerable ecosystem.

In additional to the virtual field trip, take advantage of the free downloadable teaching materials, videos, and interactive web sites to prepare your students.  These materials will enhance the field trip experience and provide excellent resources for your students.  Two interactive web sites include:

Click image to view this interactive web site.

Click image to view this interactive web site.

Free downloads for your classroom include:

Click image to view this interactive web site.
In these activities, students will explore sustainable fishing through a specific case study in Peru.  The lessons include interactive story maps that explore the Humboldt Current, El Nino, and artisanal fishing.  Students can complete a fisheries management activity using data and a socratic seminar that explores the challenges of open access fishing areas.

As a science teacher, I love that these exceptional field trips, videos, and teaching handouts are made available to us for free.  Thanks to The Nature Conservancy and NatureWorks Everywhere for providing us with these outstanding opportunities!  

Supplement Your Lessons on Plant Structure and Function

What does it take to teach about plants in your biology class?

It takes determination, fortitude, and as many top-notch materials as you can find!  One of my Dad's favorite sayings was, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink."    This saying runs through my head each year when I begin to teach my units on plants to my high school biology students. I'm pretty sure that if I asked my students at the end of the year which topic was their least favorite..... they would all say plants! As biology teachers, we have to cover this material.  Our very existence depends upon these lovely living organisms.  I have found that my students love growing plants, and labs involving living specimens, germination of seeds, growing plants under various conditions helps to raise the interest level among my students just a bit.

For those of you who have been waiting, I have just put the final polish on the warm ups and bell ringers that I use with my students.  This set contains 28 student pages and covers everything they need to know about plant structure and function.  Here are some highlights in pictures:

In more detail, these warm up pages will cover the following concepts:
  • Introduction to plant anatomy: Main organs of the plant, specialized organs of the plant.
  • Types of plant cells: Parenchyma, collenchyma, and sclerenchyma.
  • Tissue systems of a plant:  Dermal tissues, vascular tissues, and ground tissues.
  • Vascular tissues:  Xylem, vessel elements, tracheids, phloem, sieve tube elements, companion cells.
  • Meristematic tissues, apical meristems, lateral meristems, primary and secondary growth.
  • Roots:  Functions of roots, taproot system, fibrous root system, meristematic region, region of elongation, region of maturation, epidermis, cortex, endodermis, pericycle, root hairs, root cap, adventitious roots, differences in monocot and dicot roots.
  • Stems:  Functions of stems, nodes, internodes, buds, bud scales, terminal and lateral buds, epidermis, vascular bundles, pith, cortex, differences in monocot and dicot stems, cork, cork cambium, heartwood, sapwood, bark, vascular cambium, tubers, bulbs, corms, and rhizomes.
  • Translocation and transpiration.
  • Leaves:  Functions of the leaf, petiole, blade, veins, differences in monocot and dicot leaves, epidermis, cuticle, palisade cells, spongy cells, mesophyll, stomata, guard cells, gas exchange in leaves, simple and compound leaves, types of specialized leaves.
  • Thinking critically:  One page of critical thinking and problem solving questions about plants.
  • 6 pages of review:  Short answer, Modified True False, Multiple Choice, Fill in the Blank, Review the vocabulary, and What’s the relationship?
Use this link to view these materials in my TpT store.  Thanks!