Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Parasites and Parasitism


National Middle School Science Standards

Life Science, Earth Science

Key Terms

parasite, parasitism, host, ecosystem, biomass, health

Key Concepts

  • Defining a parasite
  • Medical uses of parasites
  • Ecological roles of parasites
  • Value of parasite collections
  • Technology used by parasitologists

Resource Types

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

The Parasitism teaching resources support students in meeting the following middle school NGSS Performance Expectations:

Life Science

MS-LS2 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics

  • MS-LS2-1 Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.
  • MS-LS2-2 Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems.
  • MS-LS2-4 Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.

Earth Science

MS-ESS3 Earth and Human Activity

  • MS-ESS3-4 Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth's systems.
Resource Type
Subject Guides
Grade Level
Life Science