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This information is intended to introduce students to the ideas proposed by William Paley in 1802 in the book Natural Theology. His model invokes the supernatural to explain adaptation and is a particularly clear example of the intelligent design ideas that were prevalent at that time. Students will have an opportunity to come to an understanding of the phenomena he was trying to explain, in part ... Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12), College (13-14)
Resource type: Computer activity, Lab activity, Guide for instructor
Subject: Biology, History and philosophy of science
 
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Educational standards associated with this resource:
National Science Education Standards (NSES): Read
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In this activity students will become familiar with oceanography terms by writing an oceanography horror story. Terms include sea floor features, marine organisms, oceanographic sampling, and creative writing. Students can use their imaginations to good advantage in this activity, but they must get the facts right! For example, they can change one characteristic of an organism, such as increasing ... Full description.
Grade level: Intermediate (3-5), Middle (6-8), High (9-12)
Resource type: Classroom activity
Subject: Ecology, Geology, Biological oceanography
 
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Educational standards associated with this resource:
National Science Education Standards (NSES): Read
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Students use wood blocks and model boats to investigate how the shape of an object determines the friction it encounters as it is drawn through a towing tank. They learn the advantages of streamlining and increased waterline length and observe that the shape of an object affects its stability. Students are also introduced to the terms power, turbulence, hydrodynamics, work, and boat design, and explore ... Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12)
Resource type: Lab activity
Subject: Mathematics, Physical oceanography, Physics
 
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Educational standards associated with this resource:
National Science Education Standards (NSES): Read
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In this lesson students prepare the components for building a Colossal Classroom Cladogram of vertebrate evolution, then put it together, showing the gradual, mosaic accumulation of the traits which humans possess. A major purpose of this is to dramatize the evidence that we (and in fact all living things) did not suddenly pop into existence, but clearly evolved as an accumulation of traits over vast ... Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12)
Resource type: Lesson plan
Subject: Biology
 
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Educational standards associated with this resource:
National Science Education Standards (NSES): Read
Pedagogical help
Misconceptions: Read (2)
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This contrived natural selection simulation has students build and modify simple paper airplanes (Origami Birds). They demonstrate that: mutations occur randomly; selection is based on the immediate needs of the organism; inherited characteristics (whether mutated or not) are contingent; divergent evolution may occur when sub-populations face different environments; convergent evolution may result ... Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12)
Resource type: Lesson plan
Subject: Biology
 
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Educational standards associated with this resource:
National Science Education Standards (NSES): Read
Pedagogical help
Misconceptions: Read (2)
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In this lesson students use real data to develop likely phylogenies for seven related populations of lizards living on the Canary Islands (off the west coast of Africa). Three phylogenetic charts will be constructed, each using different forms of data: geography, geology, morphology, and molecular genetics (DNA comparisons). The lesson serves as an example of MILE: Multiple Independent Line of Evidence, ... Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12)
Resource type: Lesson plan
Subject: Biology, Physical geography
 
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Educational standards associated with this resource:
National Science Education Standards (NSES): Read
Pedagogical help
Misconceptions: Read (2)
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In this evolution lesson, two sets of simulated fossils (caminalcules) are provided as cutouts. Students arrange them on two time scales. One set produces a visual example of gradualism; the other shows punctuated equilibria. Students will learn the following concepts: some evolutionary change is rapid and discontinuous, and some change is gradual; fossil patterns can provide clues to the past; and ... Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12)
Resource type: Lesson plan
Subject: Biology, Paleontology
 
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Educational standards associated with this resource:
National Science Education Standards (NSES): Read
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Misconceptions: Read (2)
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This site is a general introduction to pterosaurs. Ranging from the size of a sparrow to the size of an airplane, the pterosaurs (Greek for "wing lizards") ruled the skies in the Jurassic and Cretaceous, and included the largest vertebrate ever known to fly: the late Cretaceous Quetzalcoatlus. The site has photographs, illustrations, and numerous active links that lead to detailed information on the ... Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12), College (13-14), College (15-16)
Resource type: Ref. material
Subject: Paleontology
 
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This site introduces the Palaeognathae, birds grouped together on the basis of their jaw structure. The site explains the basis for the classification and gives examples of birds that fit into this classification. Most birds in this group, which includes the ostrich, are flightless. However this site also gives examples of flightless birds that are not in this group. Active links lead to detailed ... Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12), College (13-14), College (15-16)
Resource type: Ref. material
Subject: Biology, Paleontology
 
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National Science Education Standards (NSES): Read
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Archaeopteryx is considered by many to be the first bird, being about 150 million years of age. It is actually intermediate between the birds that we see flying around in our backyards and the predatory dinosaurs like Deinonychus. This site decribes the discovery of the fossil remains and what we have learned from it. The site also contains links for further research. Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12), College (13-14), College (15-16)
Resource type: Ref. material
Subject: Biology, Paleontology
 
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Educational standards associated with this resource:
National Science Education Standards (NSES): Read
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