Summary of Diversity of Traits

Type of Resource



The goal of the Diversity of Traits virtual lab is to allow students the opportunity to investigate how variations of traits can occur because of mutations. This virtual lab complements the Natural Selection virtual lab by addressing a common misconception that middle school students have related to mutations: Organisms choose to adapt and are able to choose a particular physical outlook or ability. Therefore, while we include environmental factors (e.g. foliage and temperature), students will d

Performance Expectations

HS-LS2-2   Use mathematical representations to support and revise explanations based on evidence about factors affecting biodiversity and populations in ecosystems of different scales.

HS-LS3-2   Make and defend a claim based on evidence that inheritable genetic variations may result from: (1) new genetic combinations through meiosis, (2) viable errors occurring during replication, and/or (3) mutations caused by environmental factors.

HS-LS3-3   Apply concepts of statistics and probability to explain the variation and distribution of expressed traits in a population.

HS-LS4-2   Construct an explanation based on evidence that the process of evolution primarily results from four factors: (1) the potential for a species to increase in number, (2) the heritable genetic variation of individuals in a species due to mutation and sexual reproduction, (3) competition for limited resources, and (4) the proliferation of those organisms that are better able to survive and reproduce in the environment.

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.