Students used skin and skin color as a lens to investigate living organisms, evolution, genetics and cultural perceptions. This expedition’s main text was Skin: A Natural History by Nina Jablonski. The final products of the exhibition were displayed at our school’s expedition night, at the Rochester Museum and Science Center and the ROchester Institute of Technology. Synthesizing experiences for this expedition included a trip to the Rochester Museum and Science Center to visit the RACE: Are We So Different Exhibit and a skype with Dr. Jablonski.

Guiding Questions

  1. What boundaries does skin create?
  2. How does skin color impact our lives?
  3. Where does my skin color come from?

Learning Targets

  • I can describe the function and structure of skin in humans and other living things.
  • I can explain the impact skin color has in people’s lives.
  • I can uncover the origins of my own skin color.
  • I can recognize the difference between skin color, race and ethnicity.

Major Experiences

  1. Expedition Kick off
  2. Zoo field study
  3. Dr. Connelly expert visit
  4. Dr. Moon expert visit
  5. Dr. Jablonski Skype
  6. Exhibition Night
  7. RMSC field study: Race: Are we so different?


  • Sharing work with teachers engaging students in understanding skin color
  • Spreading the word about the Race: Are we so Different traveling exhibit at Rochester Museum and Science Center
  • Facilitating discussion with 5th and 7th grade students related to the exhibit.