Windows into Wonderland

Hot Colors - Windows into Hidden Worlds eTrip

This trip showcases the microscopic life found within the colorful hot springs of Yellowstone National Park and explores the scientific significance of such organisms. We must stress that this field trip uses science fiction as a tool to teach middle school students about microorganisms, life forms that are unfamiliar to many people. In reality, Yellowstone's hot springs are extremely dangerous and easily damaged. In no way does this field trip wish to suggest that it is permissible to touch or enter these fragile natural resources.

A submarine capable of miniaturization has been pirated from the Yellowstone Ministry of Mysteries and you are on the mission to retrieve it! As you trek through the park's "hot colors," you will experience the hidden worlds of microorganisms. These are worlds where human life cannot exist, where organisms draw energy from chemicals as well as from sunlight, and where extremes are the norm. Learn how these tiny life forms may represent the origin of life on the Earth and the possibility of life on other planets.

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  • Flash: Animations and illustrations bring the program to life with video clips. Suitable for high bandwidth. Get Adobe Flash Player.

For Teachers

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A Special Thanks

ParKids t-shirts and hats were provided through a generous grant to the Yellowstone Park Foundation from the Katie L. Rhoads Memorial Fund of The Greater Harrisburg Foundation, Harrisburg, PA.

Accessibility Information

The Flash (high bandwidth) version can be navigated with a screen reader, but the audio will start playing as soon as each page loads. The text can be enlarged for increased readability. The text in the Flash version can be hidden or displayed.


Originally published September 2004