Evolution Virtual Lab


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Allow your students to explore the biology of evolution and make their own conclusions using this 3 part evolution virtual lab!


Student packet includes a background information page that correlates to a 15 minute introduction video. The lab itself is divided into 3 unique experiments with stickleback fish. Students will collect and verify their data, draw conclusions, and check for their understanding with embedded quizzes. Lastly, the student packet ends with some higher order comprehension questions.


I’ve also included a 10 question, mostly multiple choice quiz as a formative assessment after the lab is completed. I usually grade the lab packet as a summative.



Link to 15 minute background info video:



Link to virtual lab site:




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NGSS Standards covered:

MS-LS4-1 Analyze and interpret data for patterns in the fossil record that document the existence, diversity, extinction, and change of life forms throughout the history of life on Earth under the assumption that natural laws operate today as in the past. Emphasis is on finding patterns of changes in the level of complexity of anatomical structures in organisms and the chronological order of fossil appearance in the rock layers. Assessment does not include the names of individual species or geological eras in the fossil record.

MS-LS4-2 Apply scientific ideas to construct an explanation for the anatomical similarities and differences among modern organisms and between modern and fossil organisms to infer evolutionary relationships. Emphasis is on explanations of the evolutionary relationships among organisms in terms of similarity or differences of the gross appearance of anatomical structures.

MS-LS4-4 Construct an explanation based on evidence for how natural selection leads to adaptation of populations. Emphasis is on using data to provide evidence for how specific biotic and abiotic differences in ecosystems (such as ranges of seasonal temperature, long-term climate change, acidity, light, geographic barriers, or evolution of other organisms) contribute to a change in gene frequency over time, leading to adaptation of populations.

MS-LS4-5 Evaluate the evidence supporting claims that changes in environmental conditions may result in (1) increases in the number of individuals of some species, (2) the emergence of new species over time, and (3) the extinction of other species. Emphasis is on determining cause and effect relationships for how changes to the environment such as deforestation, fishing, application of fertilizers, drought, flood, and the rate of change of the environment affect distribution or disappearance of traits in species.
MS-LS4-6 Use mathematical representations to support explanations of how natural selection may lead to increases and decreases of specific traits in populations over time. Emphasis is on using mathematical models, probability statements, and proportional reasoning to support explanations of trends in changes to populations over time. Assessment does not include Hardy Weinberg calculations.


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