Middle school program at the Science Center

Grades 6-8

INDOOR PROGRAMS

Human Impacts on Wildlife | Grades 6-8

Human behavior can have positive or adverse effects on wildlife populations. Through up close encounters with three live animals, students explore examples of negative human impacts and some working and potential solutions to reverse those negative influences. Through a follow-up activity, students design solutions to minimize environmental problems caused by human behavior. Species may include peregrine falcon, bats, or coyote.
Available: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer, at SLNSC or your site

  • MS-LS1-4 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes – Use argument based on empirical evidence and scientific reasoning to support an explanation for how characteristic animal behaviors and specialized plant structures affect the probability of successful reproduction of animals and plants respectively.
  • MS-LS1-5 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes – Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how environmental and genetic factors influence the growth of organisms.
  • MS-LS2-4 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics – Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
  • MS-LS4-4 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity – Construct an explanation based on evidence that describes how genetic variations of traits in a population increase some individuals’ probability of surviving and reproducing in a specific environment.

Questionable Creatures | Grades 6-8

The public image of some wild animals is often inaccurate and causes negative attitudes. A review of the good qualities of these questionable creatures gives this program a positive focus. Students will learn the biological advantages that give these animals bad reputations and how they aid in animal survival.
Available: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer, at SLNSC or your site

  • MS-LS1-4 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes – Use argument based on empirical evidence and scientific reasoning to support an explanation for how characteristic animal behaviors and specialized plant structures affect the probability of successful reproduction of animals and plants respectively.
  • MS-LS1-8 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes – Gather and synthesize information that sensory receptors respond to stimuli by sending messages to the brain for immediate behavior or storage as memories.

Raptors and Food Webs | Grades 6-8

Raptors are birds of prey that use talons to capture food. Using live birds and mounted specimens, we will model the role of raptors in the food web and discuss the adaptations that make them successful predators. Being at the top of the food chain can have its downsides in some cases. We will discuss the concept of bioaccumulation in the food chain and how it negatively affected some species.
Available: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer, at SLNSC or your site

  • MS-LS1-4 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes – Use argument based on empirical evidence and scientific reasoning to support an explanation for how characteristic animal behaviors and specialized plant structures affect the probability of successful reproduction of animals and plants respectively.
  • MS-LS2-2 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics – Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems.
  • MS-LS2-3 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics – Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem.

OUTDOOR PROGRAMS

Ecosystem Scavenger Hunt | Grades 6-8

Divided into small exploratory teams, students collect and analyze data. These data help students discover how all living and non-living parts of an ecosystem are connected. Students will build a model to represent the flow of energy among these connections.
Available: Fall, Spring, Summer, at SLNSC only

  • MS-LS2-3 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics – Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem.

Field and Forest Ecology | Grades 6-8

What characteristics make fields and forests such different natural communities? Through hands-on scientific examination, teams of students measure wind speed, temperature, soil pH, humidity, and other characteristics. Students review data and then compare and contrast the results between the two communities.
Available: Fall, Spring, Summer, at SLNSC only

  • MS-LS2-1 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics – Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.
  • MS-LS2-3 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics – Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem.
  • MS-LS2-4 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics – Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.

Geology Rocks! | Grades 6-8

New Hampshire is a state of rocks, stones, and “mountain bones,” shaped by geologic forces. Through hands-on activities and exploration, students learn about different rock types, the geologic cycles and timeline that formed them, and the effects of ice and water on the current landscape. Meet a live animal influenced by the region’s geology.
Available: Fall, Spring, Summer, at SLNSC only

  • MS-ESS1-4 Earth's Place in the Universe – Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence from rock strata for how the geologic time scale is used to organize Earth's 4.6-billion-year-old history.
  • MS-ESS2-1 Earth's Systems – Develop a model to describe the cycling of Earth's materials and the flow of energy that drives this process.
  • MS-ESS2-2 Earth's Systems – Construct an explanation based on evidence for how geoscience processes have changed Earth's surface at varying time and spatial scales. 

Lake Exploration | Grades 6-8

Study Squam Lake aboard a floating classroom. Using hands-on measurements of pH, dissolved oxygen, water hardness, clarity, and temperature, student teams assess the lake’s health. Students also examine lake sediment and collect plankton to observe with a high definition projection microscope. All data are posted on the Science Center’s website for teachers to compare with results from past years.
Available: Fall, Spring, Summer, at SLNSC only

  • MS-ESS3-3 Earth and Human Activity – Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
  • MS-LS1-6 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes – Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for the role of photosynthesis in the cycling of matter and flow of energy into and out of organisms.
  • MS-LS2-1 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics – Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.
  • MS-LS2-3 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics – Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem.

Project OspreyTrack | Grades 6-8

Learn about the Science Center’s research to track ospreys using satellite transmitters. Students gain an understanding of why these once threatened fish-eating raptors are important environmental indicators and how scientists are able to learn more about these amazing birds. The program includes an indoor overview of osprey biology, two outdoor activities, and the opportunity to meet a live animal.
Available: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer, at SLNSC or your site

  • MS-LS1-6 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes – Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for the role of photosynthesis in the cycling of matter and flow of energy into and out of organisms.
  • MS-LS2-3 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics – Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem.
  • MS-LS2-4 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics – Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.

Taking Action on Climate Change | Grades 6-8

As a follow up to Understanding Climate Change, students will explore solutions to climate change. Students will develop an action plan they can implement at home or at school to help reduce their impact on the environment and to help others understand climate change.
Available: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer, at SLNSC or your site

  • MS-ESS3-3 Earth and Human Activity – Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.

Understanding Climate Change | Grades 6-8

What is the difference between climate and weather? What evidence do we have that our climate is changing? What is the greenhouse effect? What is the carbon cycle and how is it affected by human activity? Through hands-on activities students will answer these questions and others as we learn about the science of climate change.
Available: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer, at SLNSC or your site

  • MS-ESS3-5 Earth and Human Activity – Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.
  • MS-ESS3-4 Earth and Human Activity – Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth's systems.

Winter Bird Banding | Grades 6-8

Students participate in a bird banding operation under the direction of a Master Bird Bander. Student teams help to capture wild birds at a feeder, collect and record data, and release the birds again. Discussion topics focus on bird adaptations, migration, and identification, using live birds and mounted specimens.
Available: Winter, at SLNSC only

  • MS-LS1-4 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes – Use argument based on empirical evidence and scientific reasoning to support an explanation for how characteristic animal behaviors and specialized plant structures affect the probability of successful reproduction of animals and plants respectively.
  • MS-LS1-5 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes – Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how environmental and genetic factors influence the growth of organisms.
  • MS-LS2-4 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics – Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
For questions or to schedule your field trip contact Jeremy Phillips, School Programs Coordinator/Naturalist at 603-968-7194 x 18 or email
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