In this series of guided inquiry
activities, students explore how organisms adapt to their environments
through changes in their genetic codes.
The learner will:
- create make-believe creatures
and environments that have specific characteristics.
- rate the success of each
creature in a randomly assigned environment by examining which of the
creature's characteristics help, hinder, or have no effect on the creature's
success in each environment.
- write the genetic code
for their creatures from a list of fictitious genetic codes.
- apply his/her knowledge
of genetic codes and environments to engineer new creatures that could
survive in various extreme environments within our solar system.
Science Education Standards
1: Construct imaginary creatures and environments from the lists
of characteristics below.
2: Write out the genetic code for the original creatures you created
in Activity #1.
3: Design a creature that could live in each of the planet/moon
environments described on your planet and moon environment cards.
1: Constructing Imaginary Creatures and Environments
One asks students to create three unique creatures and three unique environments
from a list of provided creature and environment characteristics. The students will
then reason about the success of creatures in their environments based on a scoring
Activity 2: Discovering Your Creatures' Genetic
Two challenges students to write out the genetic code for each of their creatures
from Activity #1. Students will then experiment with changes in the genetic code
resulting in changes in creature characteristics in response to environmental condtions.
Activity 3: Creating Your Own Creature
Three asks students to design creatures that can live in some of the extreme
environments of our solar system.