Summer SAVY 2018: Session 1, Day 3 – Dabbling with DNA, Miss P (Rising 3rd and 4th)
We are officially half way through the Dabbling with DNA class!
Today, we were ecologists and studied how different animals have adaptations that make them better for particular environments. We discussed what makes a fish a better swimmer than a bird and why penguins are better at staying warm than snakes. Our first experiment of the day was a virtual simulation of predator-prey interactions in 2 different environments. All of the young scientists LOVED this activity. If you’d like to do your own simulations at home, visit https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/natural-selection, download the program, and have fun! (You may have to change your security settings if you have a Mac to allow the Java program to open). Ask your young scientist to make predictions about survival of the fittest when selecting different combinations of environments and traits. As a refresher from yesterday, can you young scientist give the definition of dominant and recessive traits?
Our second experiment of the day focused on Charles Darwin’s finches on the Galapagos Islands. The class was split into groups and each group had a unique “beak”- chopsticks, fork, spoon, taped thumb, or full hand. The group had to use their “beak” to pick up as many brown beans as possible. The birds that were able to pick up the most beans were the most fit for the environment. After several generations of collected data, we used line graphs to visualize our data.
We are so excited to show you mini versions of the experiments we did this week at the Open House on Friday! Again, if you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitant to contact me!