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Smithsonian Science How Webcast

Ferns: Curious Life Cycles and Remarkable Biodiversity

In this video, Botanist Eric Schuettpelz reveals the unique life cycles of ferns and highlights some of their adaptations.

Description: 

Go behind the scenes and meet Dr. Eric Schuettpelz, a botanist who studies ferns at the National Museum of Natural History. Have you ever noticed how distinct ferns look and wondered why? Get a glimpse of the diversity of ferns in the Smithsonian's plant collection. Take a closer look with Eric at the unique aspects of fern life cycles. Figure out what having spores, but not seeds, means for a fern's fertility. Challenge yourself to better understand the unusual flexibility of fern reproduction. Ponder what features have allowed ferns to persist on Earth for millions of years, while adapting to new conditions. Follow Eric and his colleagues to some of the most isolated islands in the world, the Marquesas, to explore the profusion of ferns on islands. Learn about the awesome adaptations that allow ferns to colonize and reproduce in new places. This show aired April 19, 2018.

STEM Discipline:

Biology 

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NATIONAL MIDDLE SCHOOL STANDARDS:

NEXT GENERATION SCIENCE STANDARDS (NGSS)

Life Science

MS-LS1

From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
  • MS-LS1-4Use 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

Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
  • MS-LS2-2Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems.

MS-LS4

Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
  • MS-LS4-4Construct 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.

All Q?rius Resources for These Standards

MS-LS1, MS-LS2, MS-LS4
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