Meeting Abstract

P1-7  Monday, Jan. 4 15:30  Using self-guided “guppy kits” to teach adaptation and evolution with authentic science KANE, E. A. *; BRODER, E. D.; WARNOCK, A. C.; BUTLER, C. M.; JUDISH, A. L.; ANGELONI, L. M.; GHALAMBOR, C. K.; Colorado State University; Colorado State University; College of Natural Sciences Education and Outreach Center, Colorado State University; College of Natural Sciences Education and Outreach Center, Colorado State University; College of Natural Sciences Education and Outreach Center, Colorado State University; Colorado State University; Colorado State University emily.kane@colostate.edu http://emilyakane.blogspot.com

The concept of evolution is central to our understanding of organismal biology, but the United States has a poor understanding and acceptance of evolution compared to other countries, which is potentially influenced by the limited availability of evolutionary biologists that can assist teachers when covering this subject. We want to fill this gap by making our knowledge and resources easily accessible to teachers. Additionally, we want to use authentic science and hands-on experimentation to reach students who are not comfortable with the concept of evolution. We have designed a self-guided activity that utilizes live Trinidadian guppies (Poecilia reticulata) to explore adaptation, selection, and evolution. These “kits” include a video introduction by the researchers, activities observing differences in color and survival between 3 populations (domesticated and wild caught low- or high-predation), and a booklet providing guidance on the formation of hypotheses and conclusions. These kits can be used by the researchers for outreach events sponsored by the university, but can also be borrowed by local K-12 teachers to be performed independently, thereby enhancing the ability to reach a greater number of students while maintaining the benefits of a small-scale program. Similar activities performed previously demonstrate an increased retention compared to traditional lessons. Therefore, our goal is to use these kits to supplement local K-12 education, particularly at schools with under-represented populations.