Desert plants put up with tough growing conditions.
NPS photo by Neal Herbert
Utah Science Core Curriculum Topic, Standard Five: Students will understand that traits are passed from parent organisms to their offspring, and that offspring may possess variations of these traits that may help or hinder survival in a given environment.
Students explore genetics by comparing desert plant adaptations, riparian plant adaptations, and a few desert plants and animals adapted to nighttime activities. Their field activities include: rough observation and data collection, a clue trail, plant keys, a story, and a smelling game. In classroom activities, students take on the identity of a desert plant or animal, and later create an imaginary plant with adaptations for survival in its imaginary environment.