ADI Online Biology Investigations

BIO-01: Population Growth

Guiding Question: How do changes in the amount and nature of the plant life available in an ecosystem affect the size of an invasive beetle population over time?

Goal: The goal of this investigation is to figure out how the size of a beetle population will change over time in response to changes in the nature and type of plants that are available for the beetle to eat.

Lab Description: The simulation allows students to create two simple ecosystems made up of bugs and grass and manipulate the starting proportions of the organisms to see how it affects the final population of invasive species.

BIO-02: Predator-Prey Population Size Relationships

Guiding Question: How many wolves should be released and when should they be released in the Pyramid Lake region to ensure that the wolf and sheep populations will be able to coexist?

Goal: The goal of this investigation is to figure how large the population of sheep needs to be in the area before a wolf population can be introduced and how big the initial wolf population can be without causing one or both of the population to die out.

Lab Description: The simulation allows students to explore the stability of predator-prey population size relationship between a population of wolves (the predator) and a population of sheep (the prey) by changing the starting populations for each organism type as well as other factors.

BIO-03: Change in Prey Populations (Natural Selection)

Guiding Question: Why will the characteristics of a beetle population change in different ways in response to predation from birds with different traits?

Goal: The goal of this investigation is to figure out how the characteristics of a population of beetles will change in response to being preyed upon by birds with different traits and relate that to a mechanism for natural selection.

Lab Description: The simulation allows students to explore how differences in traits like the speed and sight of predators and prey affects characteristics of a beetle population and a bird population over time.

BIO-04: Gene Mutations

Guiding Question: Which type of point mutation in the DNA base sequence of a gene affects the structure of the resulting protein the most?

Goal: The goal of this investigation is to figure out how different types of mutations in the DNA base sequence of a gene affects the structure of the protein that the gene produces.

Lab Description: The simulation allows students to explore different mutation errors in DNA to see how that affects the final outcome of a protein that is being created.

BIO-05: Speciation of Bacteria

Guiding Question: How different do two environments need to be to cause a speciation event?

Goal: The goal of this investigation is to figure out how different two aquatic environments must be, in terms of the amount and location of food resources found within them, to cause the characteristics of the bacteria populations in them to diverge enough from each other to become two different species.

Lab Description: The simulation allows students to explore how the location and distribution (or amount) of food in an environment affects the characteristics of a population of bacteria over time.

BIO-06: Whale Evolution

Guiding Question: Which order of mammals includes the closest living relatives of sperm whales?

Goal: The goal of this investigation is to figure out how sperm whales are related to other mammals.

Lab Description: The data set allows students to examine the hemoglobin subunit alpha amino acid sequence found in sperm whales and then compare it with the hemoglobin subunit alpha amino acid sequence of other mammals. They can also use the database to create phylogenetic trees to help answer the guiding question of this investigation.

BIO-07: Models of Inheritance

Guiding Question: Are all six of the baby chimpanzees the offspring of the alpha male chimpanzee?

Goal: The goal of this investigation is to figure out if the alpha male is the father of the last six chimpanzees that were born in a small chimpanzee community that is located in West Africa.

Lab Description: During this activity, students will have an opportunity to see the results of 12 different blood tests. A sample of blood was taken from each of the three adult male chimpanzees, the three adult female chimpanzees, and six baby chimpanzees.

BIO-08: Photosynthesis

Guiding Question: How do changes in light intensity, water availability, and number of chloroplasts within a cell affect the rate of sugar production in plants?

Goal: The goal of this investigation is to figure out how different external and internal factors affect the rate of sugar production in plants.

Lab Description: The simulation allows students to create a plant cell that is made up of cytoplasm and chloroplast. The multistep process of photosynthesis that is shown happening in a chloroplast during this simulation represents a series of more complex sub- steps in process photosynthesis such as the light reactions and the Calvin cycle.

BIO-09: Classification of Unknown Cells

Guiding Question: How should the three unknown cells be classified?

Goal: The goal of this investigation is to use what students know about biological classification systems and the internal structures of cells to figure out how to classify each of these three unknown cells.

Lab Description: During this investigation, students will be able to examine transmission electron microscope pictures of cells from the different kingdoms in addition to the three unknown cells.

BIO-10: Inheritance of Traits in Fruit Flies (Phenotypic Ratios)

Guiding Question: Which model or models of inheritance best explain the way the yellow body trait and the curly wing trait in fruit flies are passed down from parent to offspring?

Goal: The goal of this investigation is to figure out which model of inheritance (dominant-recessive, incomplete dominance, codominance, multiple allele, or sex-linked) best explains the inheritance pattern of the yellow body trait and curly wing trait in fruit flies. To accomplish this goal, students will use an online simulation that allows students to breed fruit flies with specific traits to see how a trait is passed down from parent to offspring.

Lab Description: The simulation allows students to choose fruit flies with specific traits and then breed them to see how a trait is passed down from parent to offspring.

BIO-11: Cell Cycle

Guiding Question: Where in the root do cells duplicate the most?

Goal: The goal of this investigation is to figure out where in the root cells duplicate the most.

Lab Description: During this investigation, students will first look at pictures of root cells that were taken with a microscope and identify cells that are in the process of dividing into two cells and the cells that are not in the middle of that process. Then they will need to compare the proportion of the number of cells that are dividing to the number of cells that are not dividing in different parts of the root.