Modeling Natural Selection

Students will use Finch to model natural selection and analyze the “mutations” data.

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This lesson was created by Chad Ward and Amanda Gray from Clarksville-Montgomery County School District.

Students will use Finch to collect data and use it to develop a scientific explanation of how natural selection plays a role in determining the survival of a species. Students will interpret the code for the Finch Robot to determine where “mutation” occurs,

This lab is designed to be completed after the concept of Natural Selection has been introduced to students. The purpose of this lab is to reinforce their understanding of NGSS MS-LS4-4. Teacher will review concepts and vocabulary from their introductory lesson on Natural Selection.

The teacher will provide an explanation of the lab as well as provide student instructions. A sample script can be found in the Natural Selection Lesson Plan.

The Finch will be moving along the track of black lines and when it comes to an intersection, it is coded to choose a path randomly. The “survival” of the robot will be determined based on the path that is randomly chosen. As the Finch completes the simulation, students will collect information on their data sheet.