The Adaptation CELL gives students the opportunity to investigate how genetic variation within individuals of a species can result in adaptation of the species as a whole to environmental pressures. Through experimentation and data collection, students will address areas such as: do individuals of a species have different traits; the relationship between the survival of the individuals of a species and genetic variations; genetic variations affect on the type of traits or adaptations in the individuals of a species; the relationship between genetic variation and natural selection; how environmental change in the environment affect a population.

Investigation focus:

  • Realize that individuals of a species are not identical but possess traits that are slightly different.
  • Model genetic variation among individuals of a species.
  • Investigate how genetic variation in a species leads to adaptation of the species to environmental pressures.
  • Investigate how environmental pressures determine natural selection.
  • Explore the concept that an organism’s genotype determines its phenotype.
  • Investigate how individuals that possess an advantageous trait will survive but those that do not possess the trait will not.
  • Demonstrate that if individuals of a species do not possess a trait that permits survival, the species will become extinct.