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Lesson summary for:
The Beetle Project: Investigating insects in a warming world


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This adaptable instructional module uses insects as a model system to illustrate the biological impacts of climate change, with the goal of engaging students with a range of hands-on and minds-on activities that increase their understanding of how science works, evolutionary processes, and the impacts of climate change.

UC Museum of Paleontology

Grade level:

30 min to 10 class periods

Correspondence to the Next Generation Science Standards is indicated in parentheses after each relevant concept. See our conceptual framework for details.

  • Evolution results from natural selection acting upon genetic variation within a population.

  • Natural selection and genetic drift act on the variation that exists in a population.

  • Natural selection acts on phenotype as an expression of genotype.

  • Phenotype is a product of both genotype and the organismís interactions with the environment.

  • Inherited characteristics affect the likelihood of an organism's survival and reproduction.

  • Over time, the proportion of individuals with advantageous characteristics may increase (and the proportion with disadvantageous characteristics may decrease) due to their likelihood of surviving and reproducing.

  • A hallmark of science is exposing ideas to testing.

  • As with other scientific disciplines, evolutionary biology has applications that factor into everyday life, for example in agriculture, biodiversity and conservation biology, and medicine and health.

  • Scientists use experimental evidence to study evolutionary processes.

Teacher background:

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