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In this simulation activity, students experiment with a population of M&M candies or paper dot "beetles" to test how well each color is adapted to survive on a field of colorful wrapping paper or fabric. Students act as predators and see that camouflaged beetles survive predation preferentially. Students reflect on how the activity could be modified to better simulate the process of predation-based natural selection. This activity is supported by a textbook chapter, "Origin of Species," part of the unit, "Losing Biodiversity," in Global Systems Science (GSS), an interdisciplinary course for high school students that emphasizes how scientists from a wide variety of fields work together to understand significant problems of global impact.
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