Biology & Life Sciences
Learn about the human body, plant life, and the animal world. Come see the resources and ideas we've collected to make learning about biology interesting, easy, and fun. From preschool-aged to high school level, you'll find everything you need here.
Things to See & Do in Alaska
Gates Of The Arctic National Park & Preserve
By establishing Gates of the Arctic National Park & Preserve (GAAR) in Alaska's Brooks Range, Congress has reserved a vast and essentially untouched area of superlative natural beauty and exceptional scientific value - a maze of glaciated valleys and gaunt, rugged mountains covered with boreal forest and arctic tundra vegetation, cut by wild rivers, and inhabited by far-ranging populations of caribou, Dall sheep, wolves, and bears (barren-ground grizzlies and black bears). Gates of the Arctic encompasses several congressionally recognized elements, including the national park, national preserve, wilderness, six Wild Rivers and two National Natural Landmarks.
The Imaginarium
The Imaginarium, Alaska's only hands-on Science Discovery Center, is designed as a place where people can have fun learning about science by actually doing science. Located in downtown Anchorage, The Imaginarium resembles a living laboratory, where you can stand inside a bubble, ponder the magnitude of the universe in a planetarium, discover ocean life in a marine touch tank, observe and touch exotic reptiles, or learn the principles of physics while playing with specialized toys.
Lake Clark National Park & Preserve
Lake Clark National Park and Preserve is a composite of ecosystems representative of many regions of Alaska. The spectacular scenery stretches from the shores of Cook Inlet, across the Chigmit Mountains, to the tundra covered hills of the western interior. The Chigmits, where the Alaska and Aleutian Ranges meet, are an awesome, jagged array of mountains and glaciers which include two active volcanoes, Mt. Redoubt and Mt. Iliamna. Lake Clark, 40 miles long, and many other lakes and rivers within the park are critical salmon habitat to the Bristol Bay salmon fishery, one of the largest sockeye salmon fishing grounds in the world. Numerous lake and river systems in the park and preserve offer excellent fishing and wildlife viewing.
Wrangell - St Elias National Park & Preserve
The Chugach, Wrangell, and St. Elias mountain ranges converge here in what is often referred to as the "mountain kingdom of North America." The largest unit of the National Park System and a day's drive east of Anchorage, this spectacular park includes the continent's largest assemblage of glaciers and the greatest collection of peaks above 16,000 feet. Mount St. Elias, at 18,008 feet, is the second highest peak in the United States. Adjacent to Canada's Kluane National Park, the site is characterized by remote mountains, sweeping valleys, wild rivers, and a variety of wildlife. Proclaimed as Wrangell-St. Elias National Monument Dec. 1, 1978; established as a national park and preserve Dec. 2, 1980. Wilderness designated Dec. 2, 1980. Designated a World Heritage Site Oct. 24, 1979.
Kenai Fjords National Park
Sweeping from rocky coastline to glacier-crowned peaks, Kenai Fjords National Park encompasses 607,805 acres of unspoiled wilderness on the southeast coast of Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. The park is capped by the Harding Icefield, a relic from past ice-ages and the largest icefield entirely within U.S. borders. Visitors witness a landscape continuously shaped by glaciers, earthquakes, and storms. Orcas, otters, puffins, bear, moose and mountain goats are just a few of the numerous animals that make their home in this ever-changing place where mountains, ice and ocean meet. The Park offers a range of opportunities for visitors, students and scientists to explore, study and enjoy this special piece of our nation’s natural and cultural heritage.
Sitka National Historical Park
Alaska's oldest federally designated park was established in 1910 to commemorate the 1804 Battle of Sitka. All that remains of this last major conflict between Europeans and Alaska Natives is the site of the Tlingit Fort and battlefield, located within this scenic 113 acre park in a temperate rain forest. Southeast Alaska totem poles and a temperate rain forest setting combine to provide spectacular scenery along the park's coastal trail. The trail circles back along Indian River to the visitor center. Another loop trail continues across the Indian River footbridge past the Memorial to the Russian Midshipmen who died in the Battle of Sitka. The park's story continues at the Russian Bishop's House, one of three surviving examples of Russian colonial architecture in North America. This original 1843 log structure conveys the legacy of Russian America through exhibits, refurbished Bishop's living quarters and lavish icons in the Chapel of the Annunciation.
Noatak National Preserve
As one of North America's largest mountain-ringed river basins with an intact ecosystem, the Noatak River environs features some of the Artic's finest arrays of plants and animals. The river is classified as a national wild and scenic river, and offers surperlative wilderness float-trip opportunities - from deep in the Brooks Range to the tidewater of the Chukchi Sea.
Denali National Park & Preserve
Denali National Park & Preserve features North America's highest mountain, 20,320-foot tall Mount McKinley. The Alaska Range also includes countless other spectacular mountains and many large glaciers. Denali's more than 6 million acres also encompass a complete sub-arctic eco-system with large mammals such as grizzly bears, wolves, Dall sheep, and moose.
Western Arctic National Parklands
Western Arctic National Parklands is a management unit which includes Noatak National Perserve, Cape Krusenstern National Monument and Kobuk Valley National Park near Kotzebue, AK and Bering Land Bridge National Preserve located on the Seward Peninsula near Nome, AK.
Katmai National Park & Preserve
Katmai is famous for volcanoes, brown bears, fish, and rugged wilderness and is also the site of the Brooks River National Historic Landmark with North America's highest concentration of prehistoric human dwellings (about 900). Katmai National Monument was created to preserve the famed Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, a spectacular forty square mile, 100 to 700 foot deep, pyroclastic ash flow deposited by Novarupta Volcano. There are at least fourteen volcanoes in Katmai considered "active", none of which are currently erupting. Brown bear and salmon are very active in Katmai. The number of brown bears has grown to more than 2,000. During the peak of the world's largest sockeye salmon run each July, and during return of the "spawned out" salmon in September, forty to sixty bears congregate in Brooks Camp along the Brooks River and the Naknek Lake and Brooks Lake shorelines. Brown bears along the 480 mile Katmai Coast also enjoy clams, crabs, and an occasional whale carcass. A rich variety of other wildlife is found in the Park as well. There is plenty room for great diversity of wildlife in Katmai which encompasses millions of acres of pristine wilderness, with wild rivers and streams, rugged coastlines, broad green glacial hewn valleys, active glaciers and volcanoes, and Naknek Lake.
Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve
Amidst majestic scenery, Glacier Bay offers us now, and for all time, a connection to a powerful and wild landscape. The park has snow-capped mountain ranges rising to over 15,000 feet, coastal beaches with protected coves, deep fjords, tidewater glaciers, coastal and estuarine waters, and freshwater lakes. These diverse land and seascapes host a mosaic of plant communities ranging from pioneer species in areas recently exposed by receding glaciers, to climax communities in older coastal and alpine ecosystems. Diverse habitats support a variety of marine and terrestrial wildlife, with opportunities for viewing and research that allow us to learn more about the natural world.
Musk Ox Farm
The Musk Ox Farm, located just outside of Palmer, Alaska, a 50-minute drive from downtown Anchorage, is home to a unique domestication project which began in 1954. The Musk Ox Farm is an ideal place to observe and photograph these animals at close range. On the tour you'll learn about the history of the musk ox, a prehistoric remnant of the last great Ice Age, and how it has been domesticated on the farm. You'll see cows, powerful bulls, and tame yearlings. The Musk Ox Project promotes the use of qiviut (the fine under-wool of the musk ox) as the basis of an Arctic native textile industry, which provides an economic supplement to subsistence communities throughout Alaska.
Yukon - Charley Rivers National Preserve
Located along the Canadian border in central Alaska, the preserve protects 115 miles of the 1,800-mile Yukon River and the entire Charley River basin. Numerous rustic cabins and historic sites are reminders of the importance of the Yukon River during the 1898 gold rush. Paleontological and archeological sites here add much to our knowledge of the environment thousands of years ago. Peregrine falcons nest in the high bluffs overlooking the river, while the rolling hills that make up the preserve are home to an abundant array of wildlife. The Charley, a 100-mile long wild river, is considered by many to be the most spectacular river in Alaska.
Activities & Experiments
How I Teach a Large Family in a Relaxed, Classical Way: Science
Family style learning is a great way to tackle lots of different subjects, including science.
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Featured Resources

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Pattern Blocks and Boards
This set of 10 simply designed colorful wooden blocks and pattern boards includes 100 blocks in six different shapes and colors. They help develop shape recognition and spatial relationship skills. The contents store neatly in a durable wooden case. This games was awarded the Scholastic Parent & Child's 2004 "Top 22 Toys that Make Kids Think" award.
Explode The Code
Explode The Code provides a sequential, systematic approach to phonics in which students blend sounds to build vocabulary and read words, phrases, sentences, and stories. Frequent review of previously learned concepts helps increase retention. Each workbook in this series contains exercises that incorporate reading, writing, matching and copying. The consistent format of the books helps facilitate independent work. This series includes primers—Get Ready for The Code, Get Set for The Code, and Go...
TruthQuest History
The TruthQuest History series consists of ten volumes that serve as guides for parent wishing to use real books in their approach to history education. They are full of book recommendations, along with information on the topics of study. There are also writing exercises included in these texts.
Secret of Childhood
Maria Montessori describes the child with warmth and the exactness of a scientist. She also discusses the array of materials and techniques needed to release his learning potential.
Unclutter Your Home: 7 Simple Steps, 700 Tips & Ideas (Simplicity Series)
Hundreds of practical ideas for sorting, evaluating, and getting rid of all those material items that get in the way of a simplified lifestyle.