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  1. Hopi Traditions

    Learn about how we can examine artifacts in order to infer a culture's values and its people's lifestyle. Examine the landscape where the Hopi live, and predict how they have had such great success agriculturally throughout history. Make your own clay pot that tells a story through stylized figures. Gather a set of your own belongings that would be able to teach someone from another culture about your own values and lifestyle! Learn More
  2. Shake, Rumble, and Roll

    Earth's surface is a complex, dynamic system fractured into zones called tectonic plates. These plates are in constant motion, causing earthquakes when they move past one another. Use this box to understand the theory of continental drift, the evidence supporting the theory, and how this theory provides the context for earthquakes. Use a seismograph to learn how scientists measure earthquakes and simulate an earthquake to find out how man-made structures might react to ground movements. Learn More
  3. World Percussion

    Drums, cymbals, gongs, sticks and a variety of other instruments are percussion instruments. They are created and used all over the world by many cultures. Allow students to strike and shake instruments to hear the different tones produced. Compare and contrast the instruments in the box to better understand how an instrument's materials and shape affect the sound produced. Learn More
  4. Animal Tracks

    How can we learn about the animals that live in a particular environment? Check out their prints and tracks! When an animal moves through its environment it may leave behind prints or tracks. The size, shape, and location of the prints and track pattern tell us about the animal and its behavior. Use stamps of animal prints to explore animal movement. Match the print stamps to their animals through a memory game. With washable paint, let the students enact the process of creating tracks themselves! Spanish language activity book and object cards are available upon request. Learn More
  5. Northwest Coast Peoples

    The lush environment of the Pacific Northwest Coast shapes the art and lives of its residents. Discuss the basic needs of Northwest Coast Peoples 2,000 years ago. Examine a halibut hook, cedar specimen, and other objects to infer how innovative peoples have harvested the rich resources of the Northwest Coast to meet their everyday needs. Explore how symbolism carries meaning in totem poles. Learn More
  6. A Good Egg

    Animal embryos develop in eggs, which provide development, nourishment and protection. The egg structures of different species differ in unique ways that ensure the survival of their embryos. Examine the eggs of snakes, birds, frogs, and other animals up close to learn about their differences and how the habitats in which they are laid relate to their form and care. Spanish language activity book and object cards are available upon request. Attention: Some of the items in this box are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and may only be borrowed by educational institutions that are open to the general public and are non-profit (such as a public or charter school), but may not be borrowed by private individuals or institutions without a special permit. If you have any questions about whether you or your institution qualify to borrow this box without a permit, please contact us. Learn More
  7. Trees

    What makes a tree a tree? Explore this question by comparing tree specimens to other plant specimens. Create a forest in your classroom, make tree field guides based on observations of the specimens in this box, and examine cross-sections of tree branches to learn how their rings tell the history of its growth! Learn More
  8. Built for Flight

    Birds can fly farther and faster than any other type of animal: their bodies are designed for it. Touch a bird's wing, compare the weight of bird and mammal bones, and investigate a bird's skeletal structure to understand how most birds are built for flight. Attention: Some of the items in this box are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and may only be borrowed by educational institutions that are open to the general public and are non-profit (such as a public or charter school), but may not be borrowed by private individuals or institutions without a special permit. If you have any questions about whether you or your institution qualify to borrow this box without a permit, please contact us. Learn More
  9. Ice Age Mammals

    This box contains models of mammals (and their teeth!) that could be found in the Chicago region 12,000 years ago. Look at the animals' physical characteristics and infer their evolutionary advantages. Discuss some of the physical changes that happened as Amebelodons evolved into mammoths and modern elephants. Debate what caused these changes and identify relationships among these animals based on their teeth. Learn More
  10. Antarctic Wildlife

    Antarctica is the coldest, driest, and windiest continent on earth. Only cold-adapted organisms survive there, and different species depend on each other for survival. Examine a king penguin skull, egg, and down feathers; an orca tooth; squid; and krill to see some of these incredible adaptations up close. Test out the power of fat insulation for keeping critters warm, and create a food web to show how Antarctic organisms provide one another with energy! Learn More

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