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Natural Selection and Evolution
Evolution Lab

Evolution Lab

Students get to see evolution in action and get to really ask some interesting “what if” questions in this clever and conceptually clear simulation. This activity examines how natural selection works to bring about the evolution of adaptations.
Natural Selection Virtual Lab

Natural Selection Virtual Lab

Students explore a simulated model of natural selection of an organism in different environments. This simulation represents the effect of predation on natural selection as students collect and record data on allelic frequency changes.
Explore Your Inner Animals

Explore Your Inner Animals

Students can click on a human body part to meet their inner animals! This interactive reveals the surprising origins of our amazing and annoying body features.
 Evidence: How Do We Know What We Know?

Evidence: How Do We Know What We Know?

For most of us, science arrives in our lives packaged neatly as fact. But how did it get that way? Science is an active process of observation and investigation.This website explores how scientific evidence is being used to shape our current understanding of ourselves through the use of lots of videos, interactive maps and reading content. Flash required.
The Evolution of Flight in Birds

The Evolution of Flight in Birds

This interactive learning tool titled “The Evolution of Flight in Birds” comes to us from UC Berkley. Students learn about the evolution of birds by clicking through a slideshow with lots of interactive illustrations. Students see the evolutionary connection between dinosaurs and birds. Flash required.
Lizard Evolution Virtual Lab

Lizard Evolution Virtual Lab

In the Lizard Evolution Virtual Lab students explore the evolution of the Anole lizards in the Caribbean by collecting and analyzing their own data! The virtual lab includes four modules that investigate different concepts in evolutionary biology, including adaptation, convergent evolution, phylogenetic analysis, reproductive isolation, and speciation.
OneZoom Tree of Life Explorer

OneZoom Tree of Life Explorer

The OneZoom tree of life explorer is an interactive map of the evolutionary relationships between 1.8 million species of life on our planet! Each leaf on the tree represents a species and the branches show how they are connected through evolution. Discover your favorites, see which species are under threat, and wonder at over 100,000 images on a single page.
Natural Selection Simulation

Natural Selection Simulation

In this simulation, students will investigate populations of birds living on an island, and explore how these populations changes and evolve over time in a variety of environments. Students are able to chose their bird types and phenotype for certain traits!
PhET: Natural Selection

PhET: Natural Selection

In this learning tool named “Natural Selection” from PhET students can control a population of rabbits by causing mutations, editing genes, and changing the environment. Students learn about how all of these factors affect a population of organisms through this amazing interactive learning tool! Java required.
The Smithsonian: Human Evolution Evidence

The Smithsonian: Human Evolution Evidence

Rich and creative, this site is filled with great images and interactives about our search for the origins of humankind.
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KEY CONCEPTS

Natural Selection (LS4.B)

  • Natural selection occurs only if there is both (1) variation in the genetic information between organisms in a population and (2) variation in the expression of that genetic information—that is, trait variation—that leads to differences in performance among individuals. (HS-LS4-2),(HS-LS4-3)
  • The traits that positively affect survival are more likely to be reproduced, and thus are more common in the population. (HS-LS4-3)

Adaptation (LS4.C)

  • Evolution is a consequence of the interaction of four factors: (1) the potential for a species to increase in number, (2) the genetic variation of individuals in a species due to mutation and sexual reproduction, (3) competition for an environment’s limited supply of the resources that individuals need in order to survive and reproduce, and (4) the ensuing proliferation of those organisms that are better able to survive and reproduce in that environment. (HS-LS4-2)
  • Natural selection leads to adaptation, that is, to a population dominated by organisms that are anatomically, behaviorally, and physiologically well suited to survive and reproduce in a specific environment. That is, the differential survival and reproduction of organisms in a population that have an advantageous heritable trait leads to an increase in the proportion of individuals in future generations that have the trait and to a decrease in the proportion of individuals that do not. (HS-LS4-3),(HS-LS4-4)
  • Adaptation also means that the distribution of traits in a population can change when conditions change. (HS-LS4-3)
  • Changes in the physical environment, whether naturally occurring or human induced, have thus contributed to the expansion of some species, the emergence of new distinct species as populations diverge under different conditions, and the decline–and sometimes the extinction–of some species. (HS-LS4-5)
  • Species become extinct because they can no longer survive and reproduce in their altered environment. If members cannot adjust to change that is too fast or drastic, the opportunity for the species’ evolution is lost. (HS-LS4-5)

About NGSS

Next Generation Science Standards is a multi-state effort to create new education standards that are “rich in content and practice, arranged in a coherent manner across disciplines and grades to provide all students an internationally benchmarked science education.”

ABOUT US

Our team from Temple University has developed this resource for all K-12 students and teachers of science. These vetted learning tools align to the NGSS. Find one we should include? Just fill out the form.

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TECH HELP

 

Many of these science resources require Java and Flash. Click below to download.

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