Battling Beetles
Description
This activity engages students in learning about the mechanism of evolution by natural selection and HardyWeinberg equilibrium using candies to represent populations of beetles.
Students begin by making observations about two containers of candies that they are told represent samples of male beetles from two different populations. They then perform an experiment to determine which population has a harder shell. They then use these data to make a claim about which beetles are more likely to survive and reproduce. They then apply these observations to the evolution of rock pocket mice.
In the second part of the activity, students apply the HardyWeinberg equation to the beetle populations and learn to use the equation to model selection.
Student Learning Targets

Explain how variations in traits in a population may result in the differential survival and reproduction of individuals.

Calculate allele frequencies using the HardyWeinberg equation.

Summarize how the HardyWeinberg equation can be used to model selection.
Details
adaptation, experiment, fitness, frequency, gene pool, homozygous, heterozygous, population, predator, selection coefficient, survival
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Curriculum Connections
HSLS31, HSLS42, HSLS43, HSLS44; SEP2, SEP4, SEP5, SEP6
1.A.1, 1.A.2, 1.A.3, 1.A.4, 4.C.3; SP1, SP2, SP5, SP6
5.2
II.C
3.2
ELA.RST.9–12.3, ELA.RST.9–12.7
Math.AREI.3, Math.AREI.5; MP2, MP4
CC1; DP1, DP2, DP3