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  • The Teosinte Hypothesis

    The Teosinte Hypothesis

    Activity

    In this lesson, students work through the mathematics and concepts behind George Beadle’s claim that teosinte is the wild ancestor of maize.

  • Popped Secret Film with Quiz

    Popped Secret Film with Quiz

    Interactive Video

    (17 min 51 sec) Embedded quiz modules test students’ understanding as they watch a short film on the evolutionary origins of corn.

  • Twinkle, Twinkle Little Desmid

    Twinkle, Twinkle Little Desmid

    Image of the Week

    These tiny star-shaped organisms are single-celled, freshwater green algae called desmids.

  • Lesson 6 - Biomes and Landscapes

    Lesson 6 - Biomes and Landscapes

    Activity

    In this lesson, students will use an interactive map of Gorongosa National Park to learn about biomes. They will then explore E.O. Wilson’s Life on Earth iBook to learn about the varied landscapes and vegetation types in Gorongosa.

  • Patterns in Nature

    Patterns in Nature

    Lecture

    (35 min 51 sec) Regular spatial patterns abound in natural systems. Understanding how patterns arise in ecosystems provides insights into how these ecosystems function.

  • Film Guide for Popped Secret: The Mysterious Origin of Corn

    Film Guide for Popped Secret: The Mysterious Origin of Corn

    Film Guide

    The following classroom-ready resources complement the film Popped Secret: The Mysterious Origin of Corn, which tells the story of how geneticists and archaeologists have come together to determine how and where corn was domesticated nearly 9,000 years ago. 

  • Modeling Ecosystem Effects of Termite Mound Patterns

    Modeling Ecosystem Effects of Termite Mound Patterns

    Data Point

    Dr. Corina Tarnita and colleagues studied how a pattern of termite mounds across a dryland ecosystem enhances resilience against desertification.

  • What Makes Flowers Red?

    What Makes Flowers Red?

    Image of the Week

    The petals of flowers get their vibrant colors from cells packed with pigments such as orange carotenoids and pink anthocyanins.

  • Solar Fix

    Solar Fix

    Image of the Week

    The cells of the liverwort (Marchantia polymorpha) are packed with chloroplasts.

  • Popping a Kernel

    Popping a Kernel

    Image of the Week

    When heated to a temperature of around 180°C, corn bursts open with a “pop” in mere hundredths of seconds.

  • Popped Secret: The Mysterious Origin of Corn

    Popped Secret: The Mysterious Origin of Corn

    Short Film

    (17 min 51 sec) Where did corn come from? Genetic and archeological data point to what may seem like an unlikely ancestor: a wild Mexican grass called teosinte.

  • Weighing the Evidence for a Mass Extinction—On Land

    Weighing the Evidence for a Mass Extinction—On Land

    Activity

    A lesson in which students analyze graphs and data on pollen grains and fern spores to form a picture of the living landscape before and after the K-T mass extinction.

  • Breeding Corn from Teosinte

    Breeding Corn from Teosinte

    Clip

    (52 sec) Corn was originally bred from the teosinte plant by native Mexican farmers. The morphologies of modern-day corn and teosinte plants are compared to illustrate how artificial selection can bring about dramatic changes in plants.

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