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Natural Selection Experiment

Kit #91

In the 1950s, Oxford University scientist Dr. Bernard Kettlewell studied the changes in England's peppered moth population. Over a hundred year time period, the population of peppered moth shifted from being primarily light-colored moths to dark-colored moths. Dr. Kettlewell reasoned that predatory birds fed on more light-colored moths because they were more easy to spot against the pollution-darkened tree bark. This meant that the dark-colored moths survived in greater numbers, and the genes for their dark coloring were passed down to future generations. Using Dr. Kettlewell's study as the basis for experimentation, students conduct two simple quantitative lab activities that demonstrate the effects of environmental pollution on nature.

Details at a Glance

  • 1 Day | 1 ~50 minute class period
  • 1 Activity
  • Accommodates unlimited classes, each with 6 groups of 5 students
  • All materials are non-consumable

Scientific Concepts

• Replicate the "peppered moth" study in the lab
• Simulate predator-prey relationship
• Illustrate Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection and industrial melonism
• Collect data and draw conclusion concerning natural selection and environmental pollution

Guides & Student Sheets

Our kits and modules provide you with everything you need so you can open, review, and teach the material confidently the next day.

  • Full downloadable Teacher Guide with background information, detailed instruction, example data and answers
  • Downloadable Student Sheets with age appropriate background information, full procedure(s), and analysis questions
  • All materials necessary to carry out the investigation
  • Safety Data Sheets

Kit Components

  • 1 Teacher’s Guide
  • 30 Student Data charts
  • 4 Environmental Trays, black
  • 4 Environmental Trays, green
  • 1 Resealable bags, pkg
  • 4 Moths, simulated, pkgs
  • 3 Squares, pkgs