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  • Variation
Bugs, Worms & Others
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In this creative outdoor activity, learners invent populations of make-believe organisms and then investigate real populations living in the activity site. Learners explore the concepts of variation (small difference within a population), habitat and natural history, including predator/prey relationships and protective adaptations.

Subject:
History, Law, Politics
Life Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Mathematics
Geoscience
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Game
Provider:
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
Lawrence Hall of Science
Date Added:
11/09/2014
Clipbirds
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In this simulation of natural selection, learners use binder clips in three different sizes to represent the diversity of beak sizes in a bird population. They use the "beaks" to collect food--if they collect enough to survive and/or reproduce, they and possibly their offspring play the next round. In the subsequent rounds, the food supply changes, putting an adaptive pressure on the population. Learners track how the population changes over time and see possible speciation in progress. This activity is more advanced than the classic bird beak activity in that the different sizes of clips represent birds that are not only adapted to different food, but also have different caloric requirements to survive and reproduce.

Subject:
Education
Life Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Mathematics
Geoscience
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Simulation
Provider:
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
Al Janulaw
Judy Scotchmoor
University of California Museum of Paleontology
Date Added:
11/09/2011
Clippy Island: An Investigation into Natural Selection
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In this activity, leaners will observe the process of natural selection on a population of birds called 'Springbeaks' over four seasons of breeding on an isolated environment called 'Clippy Island.' Learners will simulate feeding in a timed exercise to illustrate how a limited food supply and the introduction of genetic variants can lead to natural selection and adaptation. Learners will examine whether or not beak size affects the ability of a Springbeak to gather food and how this variation can affect successive generations in the population. This activity is designed for large groups of 30 learners but can work for smaller groups of at least 16 learners.

Subject:
Life Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Geoscience
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Simulation
Provider:
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Dr. Amanda Bamford
Dr. Susan Bulleid
Hannah Chalk
Henry McGhie
Lauren Furness
Louise Sutherland
The Manchester Museum
The University of Manchester
Date Added:
04/09/2012
Color Variation over Time in Rock Pocket Mouse Populations
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This activity provides an introduction to natural selection and the role of genetic variation by asking students to analyze illustrations of rock pocket mouse populations (dark/light fur) on different color substrates in the Sonoran Desert (light/dark) over time. Based on this evidence, and what they learn about variation and natural selection in the accompanying short film, students use this evidence to explain the change in the rock pocket mouse populations on the lava flow (dark substrate) over time. This is one of several classroom activities, focusing on related topics and varying in complexity, built around the short film. This ten minute film shows adaptive changes in rock pocket mouse populations, demonstrating the process of natural selection and can be accessed at http://www.hhmi.org/biointeractive/making-fittest-natural-selection-and-adaptation. The film is also available as an interactive video with embedded questions, which test students’ understanding as they watch the film.

Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
Provider Set:
NGSS@NSTA
Author:
Mary Colvard
Date Added:
10/12/2015
DNA Fingerprint Photos
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Educational Use
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These photographs supplied by Genelex Corporation depict actual DNA fingerprints and show the types of information that can be gleaned from them. ***Access to Teacher's Domain content now requires free login to PBS Learning Media.

Subject:
Life Science
Material Type:
Reading
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Provider Set:
PBS Learning Media: Multimedia Resources for the Classroom and Professional Development
Author:
National Science Foundation
WGBH Educational Foundation
Date Added:
09/26/2003
Event Science: Brooks River Brown Bears: Inheritance and Variation of Traits
Conditional Remix & Share Permitted
CC BY-NC
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Students experience the excitement of watching live-streaming video of wild bears on Brooks River in Katmai National Park, Alaska, in order to explore science concepts in the real world. These three lessons, designed for grades 3–5, offer students the opportunity to engage in activities that focus in particular on the inheritance and variation of brown bear traits.

Subject:
Life Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Unit of Study
Provider:
Learning in Motion
Date Added:
08/28/2018
Flashy Fish
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Professor John Endler traveled to Trinidad in the 1970s to study wild guppies. In this activity, learners take part in an online simulation of Endler's work. Learners collect data, formulate a hypothesis, and run a series of experiments. Learners find out about the interplay between natural selection and sexual selection in this wild population of guppies.

Subject:
Education
Life Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Geoscience
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Simulation
Provider:
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
Vulcan Productions
WGBH
WGBH Educational Foundation
Date Added:
11/09/2001
Gene Switches
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In this activity, learners explore how genetic switches function and the role of genetic switches in the process of evolution. To make these concepts less abstract and more understandable, learners first view a series of video clips and animations from the HHMI DVD (or online) "Evolution: Constant Change and Common Threads." Then, learners construct a model of a gene switch using craft materials or FridgiGears (magnetic gears). This activity can be done as a demonstration, a student inquiry activity, or a combination of the two.

Subject:
Education
History, Law, Politics
Life Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Mathematics
Geoscience
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Data Set
Lesson Plan
Simulation
Provider:
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Mary Colvard
Date Added:
11/09/2010
Genetic Variation
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Educational Use
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This video segment from NOVA: "Cracking the Code of Life" explores the genetic similarities and differences among organisms.

Subject:
Life Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Provider Set:
PBS Learning Media: Multimedia Resources for the Classroom and Professional Development
Author:
National Science Foundation
WGBH Educational Foundation
Date Added:
09/26/2003
Survival of the Fittest: Battling Beetles
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This guided inquiry three-part activity engages learners in thinking about the mechanism of natural selection through data collection and pattern recognition. In this scenario, learners use M&Ms and other simple materials to investigate the mating habits of beetles and whether genetic variations give male beetles advantages against weaker beetles. Learners will collect and calculate data to draw conclusions. The third part of this activity allows learners to model Hardy-Weinberg and selection using an Excel spreadsheet and is recommended for more advanced learners.

Subject:
Education
History, Law, Politics
Life Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Mathematics
Algebra
Geoscience
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Simulation
Provider:
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Mary Colvard
Date Added:
11/09/2010
Survival of the Fittest: Variations in the Clam Species Clamys sweetus
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This guided inquiry three-part activity engages learners in thinking about the mechanism of natural selection by encouraging them to formulate questions that can be answered through scientific investigation, data collection and pattern recognition. Learners are given a scenario in which a new species of clam is discovered. They will use M&Ms and Reese's Pieces and other simple materials to study variations within the clam population. Learners will collect and plot data to draw conclusions.

Subject:
Education
History, Law, Politics
Life Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Mathematics
Geoscience
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Simulation
Provider:
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Mary Colvard
Date Added:
11/09/2010
Variation Game
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In this set of outdoor games, learners play the role of monkeys that are trying to get enough resources (food, shelter, and space) to survive. They play several simple games which involve strength, quickness, coordination, intuition, and luck in order to acquire these resources. The games focus attention on the participantsäóť individual variations in these areas. There are three äóěroundsäó which represent three different changing environments, each of which requires different skills for survival. After the games, learners compare who got enough resources and what variations among the players may have affected how the game went.

Subject:
Technology
Education
Life Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Geoscience
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Game
Lesson Plan
Simulation
Provider:
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
Lawrence Hall of Science
Date Added:
11/09/2014
Video: "Being Different If You're A Weddell Seal in Antarctica"
Conditional Remix & Share Permitted
CC BY-SA
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Abstract: This video explores individual variation found among Weddell seals, and what those differences might mean for the future of this southernmost mammal on Earth, living in the most pristine marine environment remaining on our planet. The video features interviews on location in the Erebus Bay area of Antarctica's Ross Sea with ecologists Jay Rotella, Bob Garrott, Thierry Chambert, and Jesse DeVoe of the Weddell seal population project research team. Also featured is some truly spectacular underwater footage by Henry Kaiser, courtesy of Jo-Ann Mellish and Project B-470 (NMFS Permit No. 15478 and ACA 2003-12), and lots of Weddell puppies and moms filmed by Mary Lynn Price and other members of the B-009 Weddell research team. The video was edited and produced by Mary Lynn Price. This project video is made possible with funding and support from the National Science Foundation, and the assistance of the United States Antarctic Program. Produced in association with Montana State University.

Subject:
Applied Science
Education
Life Science
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Lecture
Author:
Mary Lynn Price
Date Added:
11/20/2016