Most students will easily recognize this zebra by its stripes. But why stripes? That question has interested scientists for a long time. And, no doubt, will interest your students as well.

Too often students (and adults as well) expect all science to be “settled.” Asking why a zebra has its stripes will introduce your students to competing theories on a topic that’s easy to grasp.

Spoiler alert: Scientists aren’t sure why a zebra has stripes, but the theory that currently enjoys the most support is probably not one that you or your students thought of. That in itself can be a valuable lesson.

For more stripes, check out our gallery of zebra photos on ClipPix, ETC.

Roy Winkelman is a 40+ year veteran teacher of students from every level kindergarten through graduate school. As the former Director of FCIT, he began the Center's focus on providing students with rich content collections from which to build their understanding. When not glued to his keyboard, Dr. Winkelman can usually be found puttering around his tomato garden in Pittsburgh. Questions about this post or suggestions for a future topic? Email me at To ensure that your email is not blocked, please do not change the subject line. Thank you!

FCIT Newsletter

Each month FCIT publishes a newsletter with short articles on teaching and learning with technology, using digital content in the classroom, and technology integration. Subscribe today! The subscription form will open in a new window. When you have subscribed, you can close the new window to return to this page.