Population Genetics, Selection, and Evolution
In this activity, students use simulations with beads to explore the concepts in the short film The Making of the Fittest: Natural Selection in Humans about population genetics, the Hardy-Weinberg principle, and how natural selection alters the frequency distribution of heritable traits.
Using simple simulations to illustrate these complex concepts provides students with the opportunity to calculate allele and genotype frequencies, graph and interpret data, and design experiments. Part 1 walks students through general Hardy-Weinberg practice problems to establish familiarity with the calculations. Part 2 uses simulations to examine the Hardy-Weinberg principle. Students then analyze their results through a set of questions and graphing.
Student Learning Targets
- Calculate the allele and genotype frequencies of populations using the Hardy-Weinberg equations.
- Explain the concept of Hardy-Weinberg (genetic) equilibrium and interpret data that do not show Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium.
- Construct and interpret graphs and tables to deduce the effect that natural selection has on allele and genotype frequencies in populations over time.
allele frequencies, genotype frequencies, Hardy-Weinberg principle, hemoglobin, heterozygous advantage, malaria, natural selection, red blood cell, sickle cell disease
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HS-LS3-3, HS-LS4-3; SEP2, SEP5, SEP6
EVO-1.D, EVO-1.H, EVO-1.K, EVO-1.L, SYI-3.D; SP1, SP4, SP5
Math.A-REI-4, Math.A-REI.11; MP1, MP4
CC1; DP1, DP2, DP3