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NESCent Education and Outreach

Evolution 2010: A Workshop for Educators





Science Standards

Tree Thinking


Molecular Evolution


Case Studies

Evolution Education Resources

Resources Shared by the Workshop Participants

Books we like

Online resources we like

Science Standards

The topics and materials for this workshop were selected both to cover basic concepts of evolutionary biology and to support national and state science standards.  The specific standards for grades 9-12 are listed for each topic.  The complete standards are available here:

North Carolina State Science Standards

The student will gain an understanding of

National Science Standards



Tree Thinking

NC State Science Standards:

National Science Standards:

Goldsmith, D. 2003. The Great Clade Race. The American Biology Teacher 65(9):679-682.
doi: 10.1662/0002-7685(2003)065[0679:TGCR]2.0.CO;2

An effective activity to introduce tree thinking.

Gregory, T.R. 2008. Understanding Evolutionary Trees. Evolution: Education and Outreach Vol 1(2): 121-137. doi:10.1007/s12052-008-0035-x

A thorough overview of common tree reading misconceptions. 

Understanding Phylogenies

From Understanding Evolution

A web based resource for exploring this concept. Also links to related information and activities.

What did T. rex taste like?

From Understanding Evolution

Classification, Hierarchy, Relationships

Evolution and the Nature of Science Insitute (ENSI)

A collection of papers and activities to explore this concept.

Travels in the Tree of Life

Peabody Museum

Two video clips about phylogenies and the applications of evolutionary biology.

Tree of Life

Web site of phylogenetic research, information, and activities.

"You are here..." Tree of Life

From David M. Hillis, Derrick Zwickl, and Robin Gutell, University of Texas


Presentation by Brian Wiegmann is available under video clips.

Tree of Life

A collection of information about life on earth including biodiversity and phylogenetics. Check out the Treehouses for classroom activities.

Interactive Tree of Life

An interactive phylogeny from the European Molecular Biology Lab

Identifying Biocontrol Agents Through Applied Systematics

A case study of how an invasive plant may be controlled by the introduction of a native fly parasites.



NC State Science Standards

National Science Standards

Lemur Center

Wikipedia on Lemurs and Lemur species

Where did all of Madagascar's species come from?

An Evo in the News story and podcast



Molecular Evolution

NC State Science Standards

National Science Standards

The 2010 NABT Evolution Symposium: "Molecular Insights into Classis Examples of Evolution"

The symposium will take place November 5, 2010 at the NABT conference.  If you cannot attend, consider joining by webcast or watching the videos after the symposium.  Educational resources will also be available through this site.


A computer simulation linking genetics, biochemistry, molecular biology and evolution.

Avida ED

A computer simulation of evolutionary processes.

From Understanding Evolution:


Irish Potato Famine

Cheating Cheetahs Prosper



NC State Science Standards

National Science Standards


Jon Herron

A computer simulation to demonstrate the basic components of selection.  More simulations are available through Dr. Herron's textbook website, which includes handouts and activities for some of the simulations.

Natural Selection with "Teddy Grahams"

From Understanding Evolution:


Resources for teaching selection

Misconceptions about natural selection

Superbug, super-fast evolution

Evo in the News story from Understanding Evolution and NESCent

Pocket mouse evolution video clips from HHMI


Population change

Majerus, M.E.N. 2009. Industrial Melanism in the Peppered Moth, Biston betularia: An Excellent Teaching Exampls of Darwinian Evolution in Action.  Evolution: Education and Outreach Vol2:63-74. DOI 10.1007/s12052-008-0107-y



NC State Science Standards

National Science Standards

From Understanding Evolution


Deep Time

Coping with Climate Change

An Evo in the News story and podcast from Understanding Evolution and NESCent

Geological/Paleontological Patterns



Case Studies

National Center for Case Study in Teaching Science

Investigative Case Based Learning

The Habitable Planet



Evolution Education Resources

Resources for Addressing Misconceptions

Jean DeSaix's presentation

Jean DeSaix's reference on misconceptions, concept inventories and remedies

Additional References from Jean DeSaix:

Voices for Evolution


UW researchers unlock mystery of animal color

From Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, By Mark Johnson, April 7, 2010

Carroll, S.B., Gompel, N., Prudhomme, B. Regulating Evolution: How Gene Switches Make Life.  Scientific American May, 2008.


Concept Inventory for Natural Selection

From D. L. Anderson, K. M. Fisher, G. J. Norman, JRST 39, 952 (Dec, 2002)

Understanding Evolution for Teachers

From Understanding Evolution

Teaching Evolution

Introduction to Evolution

Evolution Survey


National Center for Science Education

"Evolution: 24 Myths and Misconceptions" - An article from the April, 2008 issue of New Scientist

Evolution and Society

Evolution: Applications in Human Health and Populations

The 2007 NABT Evolution Symposium includes videos and educational resources.

Evolutionary Medicine: A Powerful Tool for Improving Human Health

E. Hood and K. Jenkins


General Resources

From NESCent:

Curriculum Resources

NABT Evolution Symposium

Evolution: Education and Outreach

Understanding Science

Evolution in the News stories and podcasts

Understanding Evolution


HHMI BioInteractive

PBS Evolution Series

National Association of Biology Teachers

National Association of Science Teachers

North Carolina Science Teachers Association


Books we like...

A Short History of Nearly Everything - Bill Bryson

Guns, Germs and Steel - Jared Diamond

Remarkable Creatures - Sean Carroll

Recommended Authors: Sean Carroll, Stephen J. Gould, Richard Dawkins

Superbug: the Fatal Menace of MRSA - Maryn McKenna

The New Killer Diseases - Elinor Levy and Mark Fischetti

Finding Darwin's God - Ken Miller

The Flight of the Iguana - David Quammen


Online resources we like...

The Evolution of Flight in Birds

From UMCP Berkeley

Natural Selection simulation

From McGraw-Hill Higher Education

Natural Selection simulation

From PhET at the University of Colorado

Historical Context of Evolution and Speciation presentation

From Jason Porter on Prezi


From John Kyrk

The Complete Works of Charles Darwin Online

An electronic collection of all of Darwin's writings including his notebooks.

Enlivening Genetics Education

Online Labs from the Education Development Center


Return to Workshop page

Image credits: DNA - ynse from Poland, Eocene fish - Renee Sylvestersen, Paphiopedilum malipoense - Guillame Paumier