Thirsty Birds Experiments 4-6
Exercise 1 – Natural Selection
We started off the day by logging into a free one year membership to the American Modeling Teacher’s Association. I must admit was nice to finally be able to delete my e-mail notification that my membership was expiring. Those little red circles on the app get on your nerve after a while.
Next we continued our Thirsty Bird Simulation that we started yesterday. Today we introduced the mutation of a spoon. We worked through the same three experiments as yesterday; no competition, competition with differential reproduction; and drought. After running through several generations for each experiment we pooled our data with another class, really Angela just made up some data, because having a bunch of data really helps with this particular simulation. We whiteboarded our results and discussed. We noticed that the graphed data looked very different from what we had experienced in terms of the percentages of spoons during the drought. We re-graphed just that experiment with each data set separate. Eventually we settled on the following conclusions; color and mouth part (fork/spoon) did not matter in the no competition experiment. In the competition experiment, color did not matter and being a spoon helped, but being a fork was not necessarily harmful. In the drought situation, color did not matter, being a spoon helped and being a fork was harmful. Finally we created a storyboard about one of the experiments projecting the results out 100 generations. I really think that my students will understand the concept of natural selection better by having the three different representations; text, graph, picture, to use to process the results from the laboratory.
Next we were supposed to read an article on genetic drift. But we were running short on time so it was assigned as homework.
The last part of the day was spent working on Exercise 1 – Natural Selection. In this exercise we worked individually for 5-10 minutes to look at four different situations; a peppered moth style example, an acquired traits example, an American Chestnut Tree/fungus example, and a bird weight selection example. After working individually we partnered up and whiteboarded one of the situations. Unfortunately I must have spaced out because I didn’t get any pictures of those whiteboards. If anyone from the workshop has any I’d greatly appreciate a copy.