Evolution of Populations   

Sugat Dabholkar, Connor Bain, Philip Woods, Kevin Hall
Biology, Self-directed
6-8 classes, 45-50 min each
High School Advanced Biology (AP)


Students will develop an understanding of how populations evolve by studying the case of pocket mice. Students will use computational models to understand the connection between natural selection, and speciation.

Jump to Teacher Notes


Next Generation Science Standards
  •   Life Science
    • [HS-LS2] Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
    • [HS-LS4] Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
  •   NGSS Crosscutting Concept
    • Patterns
    • Systems
    • Stability and Change
  •   NGSS Practice
    • Analyzing Data
    • Using Models
    • Conducting Investigations
Computational Thinking in STEM
  •   Data Practices
    • Analyzing Data
    • Manipulating Data
    • Visualizing Data
  •   Modeling and Simulation Practices
    • Using Computational Models to Find and Test Solutions
    • Using Computational Models to Understand a Concept
  •   Computational Problem Solving Practices
    • Troubleshooting and Debugging
  •   Systems Thinking Practices
    • Investigating a Complex System as a Whole
    • Thinking in Levels
    • Understanding the Relationships within a System


Unit co-designed by Sugat Dabholkar in consultation with teachers at Schurz High School


CODAP is a computational tool for data analysis and representation developed and built by The Concord Consortium at https://codap.concord.org/  

The first four lessons are based on a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Biointeractive (https://www.hhmi.org/biointeractive/pocket-mouse-evolution)

Lesson 5 is based on the lesson Evolution in Action: The Galápagos Finches Authored by Paul Strode for Howard Hughes Medical Institute based on data collected by Peter and Rosemary Grant, Princeton University.

This work is supported by the National Science Foundation (grants CNS-1138461, CNS-1441041 and DRL-1020101) and the Spencer Foundation (grant 201600069). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, and/or recommendations are those of the investigators and do not necessarily reflect the views of the funding organizations.