High School: OpenSciEd Unit B.4 Natural Selection & Evolution of Populations

Listings > High School: OpenSciEd Unit B.4 Natural Selection & Evolution of Populations

OpenSciEd is a nonprofit organization that brings together educators, philanthropic organizations, curriculum developers, and professional development providers to improve science education through the development and implementation of high-quality, freely available science instructional materials. The goal of OpenSciEd is to ensure that all educators, from elementary to high school, have access to a free, coherent, rigorous, research-based set of instructional materials that will support all students in meeting the vision for science literacy described in A Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards.

Score: 8

Awarded the NGSS Design Badge

Science Discipline: Life Science, Engineering

Length: Unit

Year Reviewed: 2023

How does urbanization affect nonhuman populations, and how can we minimize harmful effects? This unit on natural selection and evolution of populations focuses on the phenomenon of increasing urbanization around the world and the impact of that change on nonhuman populations. Students investigate case studies that investigate fragmentation, poison, and proximity to humans as selection pressures that affect the relative fitness of individuals with particular anatomical, physiological, and behavioral traits in a population. Through investigations with complex data sets, they figure out how genetic diversity in a population allows populations to adapt to changes encountered in urban environments.

Students apply their knowledge of evolution by natural selection to explain why small, fragmented populations can be more vulnerable to change than large populations. They investigate the effectiveness of various human-engineered designs in reducing the effects of fragmentation on nonhuman populations. Students apply their knowledge to evaluate proposed design solutions for urban growth in Buckeye, Arizona, one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States. They discuss criteria to balance protecting biodiversity with human needs in the area.

Link to Materials

The following link will direct you to the OpenSciEd B.4 Natural Selection & Evolution of Populations unit page: B.4 Natural Selection & Evolution of Populations

NGSS Design Badge

Awarded: Aug 7, 2023

Awarded To: OpenSciEd Unit B.4 Natural Selection & Evolution of Populations


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