2 May Science 7 Galapagos Finches; Summative Preparation; End of year reflection; Personal Inquiry Project preparation

Mindful moment. What do you see in this photo? Look closely. How does the subject(s) in the photo relate to our Science 7 course this semester?


Questions from your reading and viewing? Words and ideas you would like to discuss?

Let’s watch an HHMI video about Peter and Rosemary Grant’s famous research on the Galapago Finches.


Read and view again:



On Monday you will carry out the bird beak simulation (see handout or link above). Additional instructions will be given in class. Collect all data.

As individuals:

Make a visual display of the data (be sure to following good graphing practices–choose a scale that covers all the data, that makes the graph as large as possible AND that is convenient). Label axes with variable name and unit. Include a title. Graph first in pencil and make sure it is correct before using ink. Write a summary of the simulation explaining the procedure, the data, and the way natural selection of beak size is modeled. Be sure to connect the data to your ideas/scientists’ ideas about evolution and natural selection. Also describe which parts of the simulation correspond to reality and which parts do not. Also make a statement referring specifically to the standards (see below). The visual display and written portion are due at the beginning of the next class. They should be submitted in hard copy AND uploaded correctly in your digital science notebook. You must do original work. This will be due at the beginning of class on Wednesday 8 May.

Natural Selection and Adaptation SA

  1. Students will carry out a simulation related to the natural selection of bird populations in the Galapagos. The simulation will generate quantitative data based on bird beak size.
  2. Data is collected from the bird beak simulation and analyzed.
  3. Analysis is made and conclusions drawn with respect to structures, environmental effect on bird populations, adaptations, and natural selection.
  4. Product: 1. Visual presentation of the collected quantitative data and analysis. 2. A brief summary of the simulation, collected data, and the cause and effect relationship between beak size and natural selection of bird populations.

The learning standards to be assessed:

Science and Engineering Practices

  • Developing and using models
  • Using mathematics and computational thinking

Cross Cutting Concepts

  • Cause and effect
  • Structure and function

Disciplinary Core Ideas

  • Natural selection and adaptations


I always like to see your ideas in your own words to make comments. Please prepare a reflection by Friday 3 May. Submit in your DSN with the file name “your name end of year comments.” Also send an email with your reflection to me with “your name end of year comments” in the subject field.

Do this before you write your reflection. Go back through your DSN from our very first class. See what you remember. See if there are any surprises or mysteries–smile. Also look through all your pictures from the course. Use this exercise in looking back to comment on your learning.


  • What do you know now that you did not know at the beginning of the year?
  • What was the most profound change in your thinking?
  • What are the most vivid memories of things you saw and did that you had never seen or done before?
  • Comment on challenging ideas and challenging practices.
  • What were your approaches to the challenges?
  • Did you discover any useful or successful strategies?
  • What were they?
  • Keeping records of activity, observations, results, and thoughts is an essential part of science. We promoted keeping the DSN complete and up-to-date. Guiding prompts were provided. To what extent did you keep your DSN complete and up-to-date.
  • What do you think of the record you have established now?
  • To what extent did you notice during our year the importance of Patterns; Cause and Effect; Scale-Proportion-Quantity; Systems and System Models; Energy and Matter; Structure and Function; Stability and Change?
  • What was your response to the introduction and use of new words?
  • How did you evaluate what you did understand and did not understand?
  • To what degree did you ask questions?
  • How well do you advocate for your own learning and understanding?
  • What is an example of a question you asked and received a satisfactory answer?
  • What is an example of a question you wished you would have asked, but did not?
  • To what extent did you make attempts to participate even when you were uncertain about something?
  • Describe a sequence of learning you experienced from not knowing much to more complete understanding.
  • Describe an example where a pre-exisitng idea you had competed with a new scientific idea.
  • If you speak a home language different from English, how did you use native language to build new science ideas?
  • If you speak a home language different from English, how did you check the meaning of ideas in your home language AND English?
  • If you speak a home language different from English, to what extent did you try to build knowledge through conversations in your home language–with parents? with friends? with others?
  • To what extent did you make use of visual tools, like photos, sketches, diagrams, graphs, graphics, etc.to build, explore, and communicate science ideas?
  • How would you describe your courage, strength, focus, and determination when trying to learn?
  • What are you willing to do in the future on your own to remember details (of procedures, results, discussions, experiences, etc) and to remember the development of your own thinking?
  • What are you willing to do to remain engaged in a subject even when the subject is challenging, frustrating, and even “boring” but exceedingly important for your future?
  • Comment on what else should be included in an end-of-the-year reflection? (I wish you all the best!!!)

PIP Information:

Display and exhibit 4:30-5:30 on 17 May in the gym.

Two exhibits per table. You can pick.

Meet M313 immediately after school. We will gather any materials and all move together to the gym to set up. At 5:30 we will bring any materials back to M313.

You are expected to have an exhibit and to remain at your position for the entire viewing.

  • The following class days are available to prepare.
  • 8 May
  • 10 May
  • 14 May
  • 16 May

Budget your time to get everything complete and to PRACTICE!

You need a written/printed account of your project. This account should be organized with logical headings. A lab report format may be appropriate. You may or may not have a project that involves an hypothesis. Please ask. You need to include a reference list with correct bibliographic form. Please check.

You need a written reflection. This can be added as a comment at the end of the report (above).

You need some kind of visual display. You may use your ipad for a slideshow and/or video. Do not try to use video to present what you will say in person. The video is to show the data from your project, etc. You may want a poster set-up. You may want to display photos or sketches, drawings, paintings, etc. You may want to have apparatus on hand or a collection you have mad.

You are expected to discuss your project orally. You should at least have an outline of what you want to say. You should be prepared for questions. If you want to prepare a script, you may. You will probably want to have notes/notecards.

Some kind of relevant interaction is alway popular with exhibits.

You want your exhibit to be informative, thought-provoking, attraction. You want the visitors to “feel” your curiosity and passion for learning.


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