Look around youbiodiversity is everywhere!
From the tallest tree to the smallest microbe, Earth is home to more than 1.5 million known species of plants, animals, fungi, bacteria, and microorganisms. And scientists estimate there could be millions, if not billions, more that have not yet been identified.
Biodiversity: Explore the Diversity of Life on Earth with Science Activities for Kids introduces middle schoolers to the evolution of life on Earth, beginning with the first single-celled organisms that emerged 3.8 billion years ago to the complex, multi-celled organisms that exist today and make up the tree of life. Biodiversity is found everywhere on the planeton land, in the water, and even in extreme environments such as ice and volcanoes. Biodiversity can also be discovered by looking through a microscope at tiny worlds of organisms that can’t be seen with the human eye. There are whole microbiomes beneath our feet, in puddles, and even in our belly buttons!
All of this biodiversity on Earth helps keep the planet in balance. Biodiversity is also important to humans because it provides food, shelter, clothing, medicines, and more. However, the rates of biodiversity loss are increasing because of human activities. Climate change, pollution, habitat destruction, over-exploitationthese are all critical threats to biodiversity. There are, however, ways to slow or stop this loss through conservation and sustainable development.
Biodiversity includes hands-on STEM activities and critical thinking exercises to encourage readers to consider the threat to biodiversity and figure out ways to be part of the solution. Fun facts, links to online primary sources and other supplemental material, and essential questions take readers on an exploration of the incredible biodiversity on Earth.
Biodiversity is part of a set of four Build It Environmental Science books that explore the history and science of the planet and all that live on it through hands-on STEM activities and real-life environmental connections. Other titles in this series are Planet Earth, Garbage, and Biomes.
Nomad Press books integrate content with participation. Common Core State Standards, the Next Generation Science Standards, and STEM Education all place project-based learning as key building blocks in education. Combining content with inquiry-based projects stimulates learning and makes it active and alive. Nomad’s unique approach simultaneously grounds kids in factual knowledge while allowing them the space to be curious, creative, and critical thinkers.
About the Author
Laura is an author, writing consultant, and former middle school teacher. She has written more than 20 books for the education market on a wide range of both science and social studies subjects. She is the author of Extinction: What Happened to the Dinosaurs, Mastodons, and Dodo Birds? from Nomad Press and a long-time member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Laura lives in Boulder, Colorado.
Tom Casteel is an illustrator and cartoonist that graduated from the Center for Cartoon Studies in 2011. He has illustrated more than two dozen books for Nomad Press. He lives in South Bend, Indiana, with his family.
Table of Contents
Geological Time ScaleIntroduction: What Is Biodiversity?Discover the Three Levels of BiodiversityChapter One: A Short History of Life on EarthCreate a Tree of LifeCreate a Tabletop Biosphere Explore AdaptationsSoil SampleChapter Two: Biodiversity EverywhereMake BiogasVisit a WetlandThe Human MicrobiomeSample the WaterChapter Three: Why Biodiversity MattersCreate a Food WebWhat if all the Snakes Disappeared?Make a Water FilterCelebrate BiodiversityChapter Four: Biodiversity and Humans Build a Bird FeederGrocery Store BiodiversityCandy Bar DissectionMake Your Own MicroscopeChapter Five: Threats to BiodiversityWants vs Needs Oil SpillAcid RainChapter Six: Protecting BiodiversityGo on an Energy DietGet to Know Your FoodPlant a Bee GardenGlossaryMetric ConversionsResourcesEssential QuestionsIndex