Natural Selection and the Development of Antibiotic Resistance-Middle School Sample Classroom Assessment

Contributor
Achieve Inc.
Type Category
Assessment Materials
Types
Assessment Item
Note
This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be “fully aligned,” the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.

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Description

 

This assessment is one of the first that was published by Achieve, the organization that coordinated the writing of the Next Generation Science Standards.  It includes a standards bundle (integration) of nine CCSS-Math standards, three performance assessments from the NGSS and ten standards from the CCSS-ELA/Literacy.  In task A students use math concepts related to percent, frequency and proportions within the instructional unit on natural selection to state the probability that predicts the frequency of traits in a bacterial population.  They calculate the actual frequency of the traits in the assessment and then compare the probabilities from their prediction to the observed frequencies.  Task B has students create a scatterplot to show the change in frequency of two traits over many generations and then construct an explanation for how natural selection acts to change the genetic frequency over multiple generations with different antibiotics.  Students use this to make a prediction about what would happen to the frequencies of traits in a population if the environment was changed.  As a part of Task C students examine data charts and graphs to determine which traits from Part A are represented by one of the unknown traits in the new data.  They then make a claim about which bacteria are protected by antibiotic resistance.  In Part D, students conduct a short research project and construct a list of criteria and constraints to be taken into account when people are trying to prevent antibiotic resistance in hospitals and nursing homes.

Intended Audience

Educator
Educational Level
  • Grade 8
  • Grade 7
  • Middle School
Language
English
Access Restrictions

Free access - The right to view and/or download material without financial, registration, or excessive advertising barriers.

Performance Expectations

MS-ETS1-1 Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions

Clarification Statement: none

Assessment Boundary: none

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this performance expectation.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
Students are engaging in defining and delimiting engineering problems as they research potential solutions to the problem of antibiotic resistance and develop a list of criteria and constraints that should be considered when trying to reduce or prevent antibiotic resistance in hospitals and nursing homes.

MS-LS4-6 Use mathematical representations to support explanations of how natural selection may lead to increases and decreases of specific traits in populations over time.

Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on using mathematical models, probability statements, and proportional reasoning to support explanations of trends in changes to populations over time.

Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include Hardy Weinberg calculations.

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this performance expectation.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
The results of an experiment for the frequency of traits in a bacterial population growing in a petri dish over time are presented in the forms of a data table and in graphs and students use these mathematical representations to support their explanations about how natural selection leads to increases and decreases of specific traits in populations over time.

MS-LS4-4 Construct an explanation based on evidence that describes how genetic variations of traits in a population increase some individuals’ probability of surviving and reproducing in a specific environment.

Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on using simple probability statements and proportional reasoning to construct explanations.

Assessment Boundary: none

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this performance expectation.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
Students are specifically asked to construct an explanation based on evidence about how the genetic trait of antibiotic resistance increased in the population of bacteria since they survived and reproduced more than those that were killed by antibiotics. They read about antibiotic resistance and consider samples of bacteria that help them survive in various environments. The results of an experiment for the frequency of traits in a bacterial population growing in a petri dish over time are presented in the forms of a data table and in graphs and students use these mathematical representations to support their explanations about how natural selection leads to increases and decreases of specific traits in populations over time. Many tips about how to implement this assessment are included. There is a detailed explanation of how each standard is addressed in the sequence of activities and the authors describe how to connect the math, language arts and science aspects. Evidence Statements for each task are included and they describe what students should know and be able to do in order to be able to satisfy each Performance Expectation. They provide a way to assess specific skills and practices as well as student’s knowledge of disciplinary core ideas and crosscutting concepts.

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this science and engineering practice.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
The task is very explicit on how students should construct an explanation for how natural selection happens in the example of antibacterial resistance given. In Task A they make a statement of probability about the frequency of traits within a bacterial population growing in a petri dish and then describe the reasoning behind their prediction. This is making a claim and then using evidence to support it. In Task B they make and support claims about the frequency of genetic variants in a bacterial population when there is an addition of an antibiotic. In Task C students make claims backed by evidence from data charts and graphs about protection provided by antibiotic resistance including the reasoning they used.

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this science and engineering practice.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
The results of an experiment for the frequency of traits in a bacterial population growing in a petri dish over time are presented in the forms of a data table and in graphs. Students use these mathematical representations to support their explanations about how natural selection leads to increases and decreases of specific traits in populations over time. For example, in Task A when students calculate the frequencies, they are applying CCSS-M content standard 6.RP.3.c. They use CCSS-M content standard 6.SP.4 when they construct a graph showing the frequencies over time. Other CCSS-M content standards are addressed in the other tasks so that students learn science content as they are integrating the science practice of using math and computational thinking. Many tips are included in the assessment such as modifying the task to remove mathematical concepts that students have not yet learned. Other tips on differentiation for higher level students are also mentioned. As suggested, the assessment task works best in an integrated course or one that is coordinated with the mathematics teacher.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
All aspects of this DCI are addressed in the tasks provided. Tasks A, B and C include activities where students examine the example of bacteria where some traits have the selective advantage and become more prevalent in the population and others do not have the selective advantage and become less prevalent. (See the Description for details about each of these tasks.)

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
Task Component A is where students calculate frequencies of genetic traits in the bacterial population and where they graph the frequencies over time. Task B is where students plot and describe the changes that happen when an antibiotic is added to the environment. Both of these tasks address all parts of the disciplinary core idea with an example where some individuals in a population survive and reproduce more and so become more common.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this crosscutting concept.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
Students use statements of probability and proportional reasoning and calculations of frequency and models of traits in a bacterial population over time in an environment that is stable and one that changes. The teacher will want to specifically address the crosscutting concept of Cause and Effect during Task Components B and C where a change in the environment with the addition of an antibiotic causes a change in the frequency of bacteria with certain traits.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: Since this assessment is distributed by the coordinators of the NGSS it is completely aligned not just to the NGSS, but also to the CCSS for math and ELA. All three dimensions are used in every task and a detailed explanation of how each standard is implemented in the sequence of activities is included. Although I have only discussed the practices of constructing an explanation and designing a solution and using mathematics and computational thinking in this evaluation, many other practices are used in the instruction. Analyzing and interpreting data is used in Task A, B and C, Engaging in argument from evidence in Task C and asking questions and defining problems in Task D. Cause and effect is only one of the crosscutting concepts used in the assessment task since patterns are used in all tasks and stability and change in Tasks A and B. This is an excellent example of how to incorporate all three dimensions into a cohesive whole, even intertwining literacy and mathematics.

  • Instructional Supports: The instructions for this assessment are very complete and detailed. Many supports are included such as the science, math and literacy standards that are addressed, how to integrate math and science, how the writing in the tasks relates to the ELA and literacy standards, the approximate duration for the task, assumptions of student background, materials needed, and supplementary resources. The tasks are well outlined and there is an alignment and connections of task components to the standards bundle included. Evidence statements are outlined for each task and all charts, tables and graphs are attached. Students are investigating the problem of antibiotic resistance that impacts their lives. To do this they engage in the practices of science by analyzing data using mathematics and computational thinking. This is an excellent way for them to integrate science practices into instruction as they learn about natural selection and adaptation. From this investigation they construct an explanation for how natural selection acts over many generations in a new environment to change the frequency of genetic traits such as quick growth, less cell death, survival in a toxic heavy metal-rich environment, moving around quickly and antibiotic resistance in a population. They then argue these claim with classmates. The engineering performance tasks are used along with the disciplinary core ideas as students find solutions to antibiotic resistance in hospitals and nursing homes. The integration of literacy, math and science is well done and provides a model for future assessments for the classroom. Students use scientific information that is accessible to them and develop a deeper understanding of not only natural selection and adaptation, but how science is practiced and concepts such as cause and effect. Many instructional supports are included such as modifying the task to remove mathematical concepts that students have not yet learned and differentiation for higher level students.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: The entire 22 page document helps teachers understand how to monitor student understanding of natural selection and adaptation. Evidence Statements are included that describe the claims and reasoning that students should have after each component of the assessment. Suggestions on what parts of each task could be a formative or a summative assessment are outlined in the “Information for Classroom Use” section. For example, Task A could be used as a summative assessment of a student’s understanding of natural selection. Task C is three dimensional since it could be a summative assessment for the disciplinary core idea of natural selection, the practices of analyzing and interpreting data and engaging in argument from evidence and the crosscutting concept of cause and effect.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: There is no technology component associated with this activity.