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Students use a variety of utensil "beaks" to represent the feeding adaptations of different kinds of finches. Foraging on a lawn environment, students search for different kinds of food (yarn, beans and pasta) each having three color variants. Over the course of three trials, every student has a chance to forage and record data. In the last trial, some students can be given "mutations" which limit or enhance their feeding behavior. The data from the trials is combined and displayed in bar graphs that show survival by beak type in the finches and by color in the prey. The activity employs common kitchen utensils, as well as different shapes and colors of dried pasta and beans. A student data sheet is provided. This activity is supported by a textbook chapter, Origin of Species, part of the unit, Losing Biodiversity, in Global Systems Science (GSS), an interdisciplinary course for high school students that emphasizes how scientists from a wide variety of fields work together to understand significant problems of global impact.
This resource is located on page 23 of the PDF document.