Orange jellyfish swimming



Associated Shape of Life Content

Echinoderms: the Ultimate Animal Questions

There are three separate lessons here based upon questions.

  • A list of questions about the characteristics of echinoderms to use after viewing the video Echinoderms: The Ultimate Animal.
  • A Shape of Life Echinoderms: The Ultimate Animal worksheet. Students make sketcfhes and write short answers to questions about the amazing world of echinoderms. This was created by Rachel Miller from Science from Scratch.
  • A Powerpoint with questions to use while watching the video Echinoderms: The Ultimate Animal.

Echinoderms and Human Interaction

Sea cucumbers are a tasty delicacy in some cuisines; informally named as “bêche-de-mer,” or “gamat,” they have long been used for food and folk medicine in the communities of Asia and Middle East. And some Pacific Islanders use the toxin in some species as a poison to help them catch fish. They also use the sticky parts of some species to help stem the flow of blood if someone is wounded. 


Nature has inspired inventions since the first humans tried to make things. Biomimicry is the practice of looking to nature to help solve design problems. Today scientists and engineers are finding inspiration from animals and plants that may surprise you.

Virtual Urchin: A Cool Classroom Resource

It’s very easy to see sea urchin fertilization, cell division and embryonic development under a microscope. Realizing that the animals could be a great teaching tool in the classroom, the sea urchin development lab at Stanford’s University’s Hopkins Marine Station, led by Dr. Dave Epel, created the “Virtual Urchin” website. The goal of this project is to provide inquiry based lessons, available on a freely-accessible, open access website.