Evolution Readiness

Using computer-based, manipulable models of interacting organisms and their environments, fourth grade students learn Darwin's model of natural selection as the process primarily responsible for evolution. Even very young children can explore the connection between the interdependence of species and their remarkable adaptations, coming to recognize the latter as the surprising but predictable outcome of a long series of gradual processes involving small differences between parents and offspring. The research-based curriculum is centered on progressively complex models that exhibit such emergent behavior.

Evolution is a particularly daunting subject to teach and to understand. The evidence for it is indirect and the model rests largely on phenomena that cannot be directly observed, including some that are poorly understood to this day. The goal of the Evolution Readiness project was to help fourth grade students achieve "evolution readiness," a state of understanding that can prepare a child to learn more in the next phase of a carefully sequenced learning progression.

Evolution Readiness

Activities