link - School of Life Sciences

Workshop in Evolutionary Biology - 2013
Wednesday, July 17 - What is Evolution?
9:00-9:30 - Welcome and Introduction
9:30-10:00- The state of evolution in the public schools
- based on Science Article "Defeating Creationism in the Courtroom, But Not in the
Classroom", Science 2011, 331:404-405.
10:00-10:15 - Coffee Break
10:15-11:00 - Round Table Discussion - What is Evolution?
Reading Assignment - Introduction and Chapter 1 of Why Evolution is True
- Goal - 1. Help teachers delineate what evolution is and what it isn't.
2. Discuss ways of dealing with student misconceptions.
11:00-noon - Activity #1 - The Toilet Paper Roll of Evolution
TED talk on the history of the Earth
--Benchmark details from NSDL - Life on earth is thought to have begun as simple,
one-celled organisms about 4 billion years ago. During the first 2 billion years,
only single-cell microorganisms existed, but once cells with nuclei developed
about a billion years ago, increasingly complex multicellular organisms evolved.
12:00-12:30 - Lunch - Discussion of Possible Alterations to The Toilet Paper Roll of
12:30-1:30 - Invited Speaker - Alison Bell - Parallel Evolution in Sticklebacks
1:30-2:30 - Begin #Activity 2 - Evolution of Antibiotic resistance in E. coli
- Video: PBS Video on evolution of Tb
2:30-3:15 - (time provided) Computer Activity - The Making of the Fittest: Evolving
switches, evolving bodies, and the virtual stickleback evolution lab.
3:15-3:30 - Walk to the Institute for Genomic Biology
3:30-4:00 - Tour the Institute for Genomic Biology
4:00-4:15 - Return to Colonel Wolfe & Newman Hall
Thursday, July 18 - Inferring Evolutionary Relationships
9:00-10:00 - Round Table Discussion
Reading Assignment - Chapters 2 and 3
- Goal - 1. Help teachers fully comprehend the nature of the fossil evidence
2. Answer common claims made by Intelligence Design
10:00-10:15 - Coffee Break
10:15-11:15 - Activity #3 - The Great Clade Race/Another One Paired with Real
--Benchmark details from NSDL - Similarities among organisms are found in
internal anatomical features and patterns of development, which can be used to infer
the degree of relatedness among organisms. 5A/M3a (ID: SMS-BMK-1879)
11:15-11:45 - Debriefing The Great Clade Race - How might this be altered for different
11:45-12:15 - Lunch
12:15-1:15 - Speaker - Zac Cheviron - Adaptation to high altitude
1:15-2:30 - Activity #4 - Using the NCBI database to compare genes for human and
chimpanzee beta hemoglobin
--Benchmark details from NSDL - Heritable characteristics can be observed at
molecular and whole-organism levels--in structure, chemistry, or behavior. These
characteristics strongly influence what capabilities an organism will have and how
it will react, and therefore influence how likely it is to survive and reproduce.
5F/H4 (ID: SMS-BMK-0316)
2:30-3:00 - Drink / Coffee break / Discussion of Possible Alterations to hemoglobin
3:00-3:45 - Round Table Discussion
Reading Assignment - Chapter 4
- Goal - 1. Teachers should be able to explain why the distribution of taxa on the
earth, coupled with our knowledge of geology (continental drift, island formation,
etc.), provides strong evidence for evolution.
3:45-4:00 - Depart for Alison's Lab
4:00-4:30 - Tour the stickleback lab.
Friday, July 19 - Evolution in Action
9:00-10:00 - Round Table Discussion - Reading Assignment - Chapter 5 and 6 - Natural
Selection and Sexual Selection
- Goals. 1. Provide multiple examples of traits that are the result of natural
selection to a particular environment.
2. Understand how natural selection can give rise to traits that appear to be
'perfectly adapted' to their environments, and how this can be be tricky slope for
novice thinkers. These seemingly perfect traits can give the appearance of a
3. Understand that natural selection doesn't strive to produce perfection. It
doesn't 'strive' to do anything. It's simply the result of some individuals
possessing traits that give them increased fitness in terms of survival and
reproduction and how this results in more individuals that possess these
beneficial traits in subsequent generations.
4. Understand that some elements of evolution are random (i.e. the effects of
new, incoming mutations), but that other parts - who survives to reproduce and
who doesn't survive to reproduce - is not random at all.
5. Understand that natural selection can result in rapid change in phenotypic
traits if the direction of selection is constant (in the case of size-selective harvest
in fisheries), but that fluctuations in the direction of selection over time (in the
case of Darwin's finches) or stabilizing selection can give the appearance of
evolutionary stasis.
10:00-10:15 - Coffee Break
10:15-11:30: Speaker - Becky Fuller - Natural and sexual selection as a function of
lighting environment.
11:30-12:00 - Lunch
12:00-1:00 - Activity #5 - Guppy Game
--This activity has multiple benchmarks.
-- Offspring of advantaged individuals, in turn, are more likely than others to
survive and reproduce in that environment. The proportion of individuals that have
advantageous characteristics will increase. 5F/H3c (ID: SMS-BMK-1887)
-- When an environment, including other organisms that inhabit it changes, the
survival value of inherited characteristics may change. 5F/H6c (ID: SMS-BMK-1889)
-- Evolution builds on what already exists, so the more variety there is, the more
there can be in the future. But evolution does not necessitate long-term progress in
some set direction. Evolutionary change appears to be like the growth of a bush: Some
branches survive from the beginning with little or no change; many die out altogether;
and others branch repeatedly, sometimes giving rise to more complex organisms. 5F/H9
(ID: SMS-BMK-0321)
-- Chance alone can result in the persistence of some heritable characteristics
having no survival or reproductive advantage or disadvantage for the organism. 5F/H6b
(ID: SMS-BMK-1890)
1:00-1:30 - Debrief activity
1:30-2:15 - Return to Activity #2 - Re-examine the bacteria culture plates.
2:15-2:30 - Coffee/Cookie Break
3:00-4:00 - Round Table Discussion - Reading Assignment - Chapter 8 and 9 'What
about us?' and 'Evolution Redux'
Goal - 1. Provide teachers with a solid understanding of the evolutionary origins
of humans so that they may properly respond to student inquiries.
Goal - 2. Find ways to help students think with the 'reasoning' part of their
brains and not the 'emotional' part of their brains.
4:00-4:30 - Wrap up and Surveys.