This activity was created for an introductory biology class and is less involved than the CER version created for honors biology.
This version has more specific instructions that walk students through the simulation with guided questions. Students play with the variables in the simulation, which include changing the selection factors (food or predators) and changing the type of environment (equator or arctic) to show how the bunny population changes in response to these factors. For example, when food is a factor, bunnies with longer teeth have a better chance of surviving, and over time, the population has more bunnies with long teeth.
Students are then challenged to complete a VIDA chart that shows their understanding of how populations can change over time.
Instructors will need to download the simulation for the students. I have found that I can download it to the school’s network and give students the instructions for accessing the program. PHET has some amazing interactive explorations in biology, chemistry and physics.
You can also download the Google Doc version and alter the instructions to include how students can access the simulation or change any of the questions or instructions to meet the needs of your students.
Grade Level: 8-12
Time Required: 45-55 minutes
HS- LS4-2 Construct an explanation based on evidence that the process of evolution primarily results from four factors: (1) the potential for a species to increase in number, (2) the heritable genetic variation of individuals in a species due to mutation and sexual reproduction, (3) competition for limited resources, and (4) the proliferation of those organisms that are better able to survive and reproduce in the environment