What is Biodiversity?

Grades 7-12, Post-Secondary, Adults |  60 minutes | Tour

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Biodiversity can be defined as the variety of life, but it is much more complex than that sounds. On this tour, explore the museum as you touch authentic specimens and hear a variety of stories that highlight what biodiversity is and what makes it so fascinating. Through maintenance and preservation of ecosystems, different species can coexist. Students will understand the relationships between biodiversity and mechanisms that organisms use to thrive in different environments.

Stories focus on the drama of biodiversity, how species change over time (evolution), the human link to biodiversity, and biodiversity of the past and future.

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This is a museum tour, which allows your group to learn more about the stories behind the museum’s exhibits and displays. Plan to be standing and walking on the tour. If you are looking for an activity-focused experience, please look at one of our 75-minute programs, such as One Life to Live (grades 3-7), Whale of a Tale (youth groups age 5-12), Sketching (all grades), or Inquiry into Evolution (grades 10-12).

  • Science 7: The theory of evolution by natural selection provides an explanation for the diversity and survival of living things
    • Survival needs and interactions between organisms and the environment
  • Science 8: Cells are a basic unit of life
  • Science 9: The biosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere are interconnected, as matter cycles and energy flows through them; cells are derived from cells
  • Science 10: Genes are the foundation for the diversity of living things
  • Biology 11: All organisms have characteristics that define them as living and interdependent. Life can be organized in a functional and structural hierarchy ranging from cells to the biosphere; living things are interdependent; living things are diverse and evolve over time
    • How animals shape their physical environment, living things and their roles in ecosystems
  • Biology 12: Cells are the basic unit of life

Many of our Educator Resources can support your visit. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Scavenger Hunts and Museum Activities

We suggest using a scavenger hunt before or after your program to help students explore the museum in a guided way.

  • Urban BiodiverseCity
  • Forest Biodiversity
  • Wetland Biodiversity
  • Ocean Biodiversity
  • Aquatic Exploration

Pre and Post-Visit Resources

  • Nature Guides and Logs
  • Creating a Nature Table

Please visit our Educator Resources page to download these materials.