Scrutinizing Shells


    “When a huge shell collection was passed on to me, I knew I was in a unique position to give these shells another life in education! Now is the time to share that amazing resource with my students, and I can’t wait!”
    ~ Prof. Emma Stein


    Coming Soon

    Seashells for the Scrutinizing Shells course at Athena's
    InstructorProf. Emma Stein
    Content LevelsGrades 7-8 • Junior High
    Grades 9-10 • Lower High School
    Grades 11-12 • Upper High School
    Course Length8 weeks
    Live Webinars Held OnTBD

    You’ve likely seen at least one shell before–on a beach, attached to a living organism, in a store…but how was that shell made? What organism made it? Is it considered a shell or is it called something else scientifically? What’s up with that little hole in that clam shell?

    We’ll investigate shells from Prof. Emma’s (inherited) shell collection to discover what’s so special about shells! Our exploration will lead us through the taxonomy, biology, adaptations, and ecology of shell-creating creatures!

    Let’s scrutinize some shells!

    For a list of scientific skills students will develop, see the What to Expect tab.

    What to expect in the Required section in the classroom each week:

    • Two forums—in which students are given the opportunity to reflect upon the week’s material or complete a relevant activity.

    What to expect in the Highly Suggested & Optional sections in the classroom each week:

    • Curated resources, including websites & videos, are provided to excite learners and to add depth to the subject matter.

    What to expect during the weekly webinar:

    • Weekly webinars are 50 minutes long. Webinars are recorded and are available for students with schedule conflicts.
    • Primary instruction and guided discussions are provided during live webinars.
    • Active Participation (via the microphone and chat) in online class discussions.
    • An activity at the end of the webinar.

    Scientific skills students will develop:

    • Scientific thought skills.
    • Knowledge base concerning organisms that make shells (ecology, taxonomy, biology, etc.).
    • Ability to use dichotomous keys to identify species (and shells).
    • Researching using general Internet sources.

    Before taking this course, students should be able to: 

    • Read at a solid 5th-grade level or above.
    • Write a few sentences independently.

    Students should be willing to:

    • Actively participate (via the microphone) in the class discussion.
    • Encourage class discussion by adding their questions/ideas in the chat window during the webinar.
    • Respond with positive and encouraging comments on their classmates’ posts in the classroom forums.

    Required books & materials:

    • No required books or materials