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  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Amylase Copy Number and Diet
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Overview:

In this activity, students review data from a study where scientists investigated whether there is a correlation between the number of AMY1 gene copies and the type of diet of a population. Students will analyze a graph and then answer a series of questions.

Subject:
Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Date Added:
07/13/2017
The Anthropocene: Human Impact on the Environment
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3.0 stars
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Students will explore how human population growth, air pollution, agriculture, mining, water use, and other human activities have impacted the environment and the mark they will leave in the fossil record.

Subject:
Biology
Earth Science
Material Type:
Interactive
Provider:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Author:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Date Added:
02/26/2019
Bat Echolocation
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In this activity, students review a study where researchers tested whether bats change their behavior while hunting based on feedback from echolocation. Students will analyze spectograms and corresponding video snapshots which show the physical and acoustic behaviors of bats as they attempt to capture prey and then answer a series of questions based on the data.

Subject:
Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Date Added:
07/13/2017
Beaks as Tools: Selective Advantage in Changing Environments
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In their study of the medium ground finches, evolutionary biologists Peter and Rosemary Grant were able to track the evolution of beak size twice in an amazingly short period of time due to two major droughts that occurred in the 1970s and 1980s. This activity simulates the food availability during these droughts and demonstrates how rapidly natural selection can act when the environment changes. Students use two different types of tools to represent different beak types to see which is best adapted to collect and eat seeds of different sizes. Students collect and analyze data and draw conclusions about traits that offer a selective advantage under different environmental conditions. They have the option of using an Excel spreadsheet to calculate different descriptive statistics and interpret graphs.

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Author:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Date Added:
02/26/2019
Biochemistry and Cell Signaling Pathway of the Mc1r Gene
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In this advanced lesson, students use amino acids sequences from the rock pocket mouse genome to illustrate the different levels of protein structure and the relationship between a protein's structure and function.

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Author:
Ann Brokaw
Date Added:
02/26/2019
CSI Wildlife
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Overview:

Students use DNA profiling, or fingerprinting, to solve two cases of elephant poaching in this interactive. In the process they will learn about genetic markers, PCR, gel electrophoresis, allele frequencies, and population genetics.

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Interactive
Provider:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Author:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Date Added:
02/26/2019
The Cochlea
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3.0 stars
Overview:

This animation illustrates how we hear sound. Sounds from the outside world pass as vibrations through tiny bones in our ear to the cochlea. Within the coiled tube of the cochlea, different regions of the basilar membrane sense different sound frequencies at specific. This animation demonstrates how high-frequency sounds penetrate only a short distance along the basilar membrane and how vibrations from low tones are sensed at the farthest end of the basilar membrane.

Subject:
Science
Material Type:
Lesson
Provider:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Author:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Date Added:
02/26/2019
Color Variation Over Time in Rock Pocket Mouse Populations
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4.0 stars
Overview:

This activity serves as an extension to the HHMI short film The Making of the Fittest: Natural Selection and Adaptation and a means of reinforcing the concepts of variation and natural selection. Students will examine 8 snapshot samples from rock pocket mouse populations (4 snapshots at each of 2 different locations). By counting the number of light and dark-colored mice present at each location, they will determine the correct order of the snapshots from oldest to most recent. They will then graph their results and write a scientific summary describing one of the mouse populations and how it has changed over time.

Subject:
Science
Biology
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Author:
Mary Colvard
Date Added:
02/26/2019
Comparative Anatomy of the Domestic Chicken
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Students trace the evolutionary history of birds by comparing the shapes and structures of certain bones in a chicken to those of some of its extinct and living relatives in this interactive.

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Interactive
Provider:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Author:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Date Added:
02/26/2019
Connect Past With Present: How Scientists Use Fossils to Draw Modern Conclusions
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5.0 stars
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In this lesson, students watch a video of scientists finding, collecting, and dating fossils. They then answer questions about scientific processes and work with ratios and proportions to solve simple algebraic equations relating to fossil data. Recommended for middle school life/earch science, high school environmental science, or high school biology.

Subject:
Science
Biology
Material Type:
Lesson
Provider:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Author:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Date Added:
02/26/2019
Coral Bleaching Activity
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In this computer-based activity, students download, graph, and analyze authentic satellite temperature data for coral reef sites around the world. The activity includes a mapping component so the students work individually on one particular coral reef location and then the findings for the whole class are summarized on a set of world maps. After observing global trends in the data, students evaluate the threat to coral reefs from heat stress, which has been occurring with increased intensity and frequency in recent years.

Subject:
Biology
Earth Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Author:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Date Added:
02/26/2019
Creating Chains and Webs to Model Ecological Relationships
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4.0 stars
Overview:

This hands-on activity supports the HHMI short film The Guide and the 2015 Holiday Lectures on Science: Patterns and Processes in Ecology. Students will identify producers and consumers in the savanna ecosystem of Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique. Using a set of “Gorongosa cards,” they create food chains to show the flow of energy in the system, introduce an ecological force or disturbance (e.g., fire), and predict how that force would impact animals in the chain. Lastly, students will construct a more complex model of the flow of energy by depicting multiple relationships in a food web and again make a prediction about the impact of introducing an ecological force.

Subject:
Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Date Added:
07/14/2017
DNA Profiling Activity
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This multi-part lesson is designed to give students a firm understanding of genetic profiling using short tandem repeats (STRs), which is a process used by forensics labs around the world. In Part 1 of this lesson, students learn the basics of DNA profiling, including the structure and inheritance of STRs. In Part 2, students learn how DNA profiles are compiled with STRs that are typically used in forensic investigations. In Part 3, they work through a case study involving a robbery and build a DNA profile that can be compared to one constructed from a DNA sample left by a suspect at the scene of the crime. Throughout, analysis questions walk students through calculations on allele frequency and probability (using real data from national databases), providing opportunities for formative assessments on students’ understanding of DNA fingerprinting applications.

Subject:
Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Date Added:
07/14/2017
The Day the Mesozoic Died
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This film traces the uncovering of key clues that led to the stunning discovery that an asteroid struck the Earth 66 million years ago, triggering a mass extinction of animals, plants, and even microorganisms. Each act illustrates the nature and power of the scientific method. Representing a rare instance in which many different disciplines (geology, physics, biology, chemistry, paleontology) contributed to a revolutionary theory, the film is intended for students in all science classes. Supporting materials are provided.

Subject:
Science
Material Type:
Lesson
Provider:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Author:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Date Added:
02/26/2019
Dead Zones in Coastal Ecosystems
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In this activity, students explore a map of the global "human footprint," created when researchers overlaid the locations of more than 400 hypoxic systems linked to eutrophication. Students will analyze the map and then answer a series of questions to better understand the connection between dead zones and areas that are heavily impacted by humans.

Subject:
Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Date Added:
07/13/2017
Developing an Explanation for Mouse Fur Color
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In this lesson, students collect and analyze evidence for each of the major conditions for evolution by natural selection to develop an explanation for how populations change over time. This activity is based on the classic study of the evolution of fur color in rock pocket mouse populations. It supports the short film, “The Making of the Fittest: Natural Selection and Adaptation.” Students summarize the evidence for evolution by natural selection presented in the film and in figures from a scientific paper. They should then be able to apply the same concepts to any trait that changes in response to natural selection in any species. The activity helps students develop useful skills aligned with the science practices of constructing explanations and engaging in argument from evidence.

Subject:
Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Date Added:
07/12/2017
Earth Systems Activity
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Students learn that atmospheric composition is one of the major factors in the long-term control of Earth's climate. They then build a model of how carbon cycles through the Earth system.

Subject:
Earth Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Author:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Date Added:
02/26/2019
Effects of Natural Selection on Finch Beak Size
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4.0 stars
Overview:

In this activity, students evaluate data from a study conducted on the island of Daphne Major in the Galapagos Islands investigating the change in beak depths of finches after a drought. Students will analyze a graph and then answer discussion questions based on the graph characteristics and what the data shows.

Subject:
Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Date Added:
07/14/2017
Effects of Predation on the Niche of Lizards
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In this activity, students review the research data of a team of scientists who studied the effects of introducing a lizard predator on the food webs of a group of small islands in the Bahamas. After analyzing graphs, students will answer a series of questions based on the data.

Subject:
Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Date Added:
07/13/2017
The Eukaryotic Cell Cycle and Cancer
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Students explore the phases, checkpoints, and protein regulators of the cell cycle and find out how mutated versions of these proteins can lead to the development of cancer in this interactive resource.

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Interactive
Provider:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Author:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Date Added:
02/26/2019
Evolution in Action: Data Analysis
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These two activities support the film The Origin of Species: The Beak of the Finch. They provide students with the opportunity to analyze data collected by Princeton University evolutionary biologists Peter and Rosemary Grant.

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Author:
Paul Strode
Date Added:
02/26/2019
Explore Your Inner Animals
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This interactive explores different anatomical features of the human body and what they reveal about the evolutionary history humans share with other organisms, including earlier, long-extinct species.

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Interactive
Provider:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Author:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Date Added:
02/26/2019
Exploring Biomass Pyramids
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In this interactive activity, students explain a phenomenon, make hypotheses and predictions, and then test their predictions with data. Students will measure the biomass of primary producers in a defined area and extrapolate the amount of algal biomass in a river pool. Students will also investigate the relationship between biomass pyramids and pyramids of productivity and the role of the physical environment (mainly the amount of sunlight versus shade) on trophic biomass pyramids. This activity is based on the fieldwork of ecologist Dr. Mary Power.

Subject:
Science
Material Type:
Interactive
Provider:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Date Added:
08/16/2018
Following the Trail of Evidence
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This worksheet supports the HHMI short film The Day the Mesozoic Died. As students watch the film, they will write down the evidence that led to the discovery that an asteroid struck Earth about 66 million years ago, causing a mass extinction. Through this exercise students gain an appreciation for the scientific process, which consists of asking questions, making observations, formulating hypotheses, and gathering and evaluating evidence.

Subject:
Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Author:
Mary Colvard
Date Added:
02/26/2019
Genetic Origin of Variation in Human Skin Color
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In this activity, students review research where scientists studied the genetic origin of variation in human skin color using a model organism, the zebrafish. Students will analyze histograms and then answer a series of questions to better understand mutations.

Subject:
Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Date Added:
07/14/2017
Great Transitions Interactive
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Students explore transitional forms with features of both fish and tetrapods, and see the progression of anatomical changes from reconstructed fossil skeletons in this interactive.

Subject:
Science
Biology
Material Type:
Interactive
Provider:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Author:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Date Added:
02/26/2019
Great Transitions: The Origin of Birds
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In the second film of the Great Transitions trilogy, paleontologist Julia Clarke takes us on a journey to uncover the evidence that birds descended from dinosaurs. The film illustrates many of the practices of science, including asking important questions, formulating and testing hypotheses, analyzing and interpreting evidence, and revising explanations as new evidence becomes available.

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Lesson
Provider:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Author:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Date Added:
02/26/2019
Great Transitions: The Origin of Humans
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In this film, part of the Great Transitions trilogy, Sean Carroll and Tim White discuss the most important human fossils and how they illuminate key phases of human evolution, focusing in particular on three traits: larger brains, tool use, and bipedality.

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Lesson
Provider:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Author:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Date Added:
02/26/2019