Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Plant Collections and Citizen Science


National Middle School Science Standards

Life Science, Earth Science

Key Terms

botany, biodiversity, museum collections, herbarium, invasive species, taxonomy, citizen science

Key Concepts

  • Value of plant collections in conservation biology
  • Tracking changing environments using plants  
  • Ecological impacts of invasive species
  • Citizen science and its role in scientific research
  • Technology used by botanists

Resource Types

Middle School Level

High School Level

Advanced Reading Level

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

The Plant Collections and Citizen Science 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-ESS3-3 Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.

Resource Type
Subject Guides
Grade Level
Learning Standards
Next Generation Science Standards
Life Science