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This interactive tool is based on the classic story of evolution by natural selection—the story of the peppered moths in England during the Industrial Revolution. Although scientists have recently determined that this story is flawed and needs revisited, it still provides ideas necessary to help students understand related concepts.

In this activity, there are green and orange bugs (analogous to the moths in England) that live in green leafy trees. As in real life, birds eat these bugs—usually the ones they can see the best. Located close to the bugs is a factory that spews out pollution that turns the trees orange. This affects how well the birds can see the different colored bugs, thereby impacting the survival of the bugs.

Going Further

For Educators

In this activity, students can manipulate the level of pollution emitted by the factory (i.e., the background color of the screen) and observe the effects on the different colored bugs, moving them toward a better understanding of evolution by natural selection.

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Tool Details

Grades Themes Type Project 2061 Benchmarks National Science Standards