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Backyard Biologist

Division: A- Elementary

NC Essential Standards Alignment: 2.L.1, 3.L.2, 6.L.1, 6.L.2

Event Rules: Backyard Biologist Rules 2022

Event Score Sheet: None

Clarifications: None


Teams will be assessed on their knowledge of living organisms that they may encounter in their own backyard. In 2022, the focus will be on plants & insects. Teams will be required to identify organisms from a provided list and know about the habitat and conditions required for growth of the organisms.


Must bring writing instruments. Teams may also bring up to 2 commercially produced field guides and/or 2 1-inch, 3-ring binders with pages in any form, from any source, contained in the rings. (This means 2 guides, or 2 binders, or a guide and a binder). Actual plant & leaf samples are allowed in the binders as long as they are in plastic sheet protectors. No insect parts are allowed in the binder. Teams may also bring up to two hand lenses.

Event Leaders will provide an event with all necessary items, objects, materials, questions, and response sheets for participants to complete exams. Examples include but are not limited to: drawings, scenarios, questions, leaves, bark, seeds, photographs, and specimens.


Points will be awarded for the accuracy of responses. Ties will be broken by the accuracy or quality of responses to questions chosen by the event leader.

Common Mistakes:



Students should collect, identify, and press leaves and plant parts for studying purposes in the fall since the event stations may contain actual plant parts.

Fast Facts:


Event Resources:

Backyard Biologist 2019 Coaches Clinic Presentation (2020 Rules)
Backyard Biologist 2018 Coaches Clinic (2019 Rules)
Nearpod Backyard Biologist Test
Nearpod Backyard Biologist Test Answers
Nearpod Backyard Biologist Practice Test
Nearpod Backyard Biologist Practice Test Answers
2019 Backyard Biologist Test
2018 Backyard Biologist Test
2017 Coaches Clinic Presentation
What Tree is That?
Trees of North Carolina
Why Do Plants Grow Flowers?
Flora & Fauna of NC – iNaturalist
FREE, really good, printable tree guide
FREE really good ebook on species of the Southeast
Tree id app – scroll to the bottom of the webpage
Plant Information Center: North Carolina Trees
Plants by Janice VanCleave
The Magic School Bus Plants Seeds
The Teachers Guide- Lesson plans on Plants
Project Learning Tree
Missouri Botanical Garden
Carolina Nature: Trees, Shrubs, and Woody Vines of NC
NC Natural: Wildflowers and Plants of NC
Great series of YouTube videos about leaf identification
LeafSnap – an Apple app that lets you take a picture of a plant and get an identification. Sorry, no Android version yet.
The Right Diet for your Plants
Types of Soil by Texture
Spotify Playlist of Bird Calls
All About Birds– From Cornell University, bird identification and calls.


Bite Size SO