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Independent Study

Reinforce and extend students' science learning in and out of the classroom. Encourage your students to drive their own investigations, act like scientists, and explore the environment around them.

Click here to view the guide.

Units of Study

Your complete package. Relevant questions, introductory games, skills development, scientific practice, and online interaction with the scientific community!



How diverse is your local ecosystem? Compare local biodiversity counts to those in other areas of your watershed.

Population change over time

How do populations change over time in response to invasive species introductions? Graph it and tell evidence-based stories.

Ecosystem health

How healthy are your local ecosystems? Use health indicators to investigate and assess the health of an upland, freshwater, or coastal system.



Learn through play. Use games to establish a context for learning, build content knowledge, practice fieldwork and discussion skills, and simulate ecosystem processes.


New bird in town ("MnM game")

What does it feel like to be invasive?

Oh deer: Invasive species style

High energy! How do communities change over time?

Biodiversity Jenga

How do invasives affect biodiversity?

Investigable question survivor

Vote the uninvestigables off your island!

Talk moves

Bring fun, productive talk & argument into your discussions.


Science skills

What skill! Lots of activities here for doing fieldwork, identifying species, generating quality evidence, having evidence-based discussions, and making meaning of data.


Devour or savor

A delicious observation activity. Eat chocolate s--l--o--w--l--y.

Spot the difference

Can you see differences between crabs before I do? Build ID skills.

Data quality hunt

Decide for yourself what great data looks like.

Prove it!

Make your best case using evidence. Show me with photos! Convince me with words!



Science needs company. Vital Signs science content is good friends with social studies, language arts, math, and communications.


Nature journaling

Use your senses to observe, question, and write about what's around you.

Mystery Graphs

Put your graphing skills to the test. Tell evidence-based stories!

The Green Book

Science fiction reading meet Vital Signs!

Science Notebooks!

Organize, document, and reflect on your investigations!