Blogpost - ExploreLearning releases Wisconsin Fast Plants simulation Gizmos
This blog post on the Wisconsin Fast Plants website features the recently released Wisconsin Fast Plants genetics simulations, powered by ExploreLearning Gizmos. Sign up for a free account on the Gizmo website (https://www.explorelearning.com/index.cfm?method=Controller.dspFreeAccount) for free access to two simulations that were collaboratively developed by the teams at Explore Learning and the Wisconsin Fast Plants Program of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. These simulations replace those previously available on our website that were developed nearly two decades ago and no longer function on modern operating systems.
Fast Plants Gizmos were created as a collaboration between ExploreLearning and the Wisconsin Fast Plants Program of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. They were designed to support many of the experiments that students can do using Fast Plants seeds and plants. By using these Gizmos in combination with firsthand experiences growing Fast Plants, students can compare simulated growth, development and reproduction with observations of living Fast Plants. In addition, the Gizmos genetic simulation makes it possible for students to gather data from a significantly larger plant population than is typically grown in classrooms. These Gizmos also stand alone, supporting topics both in plant life cycles and Mendelian genetics and can be used by any student.
Simulation, Simulations, Genetics, Inheritance
- NGSS.HS.LS3.1 Ask questions to clarify relationships about the role of DNA and chromosomes in coding the instructions for characteristic traits passed from parents to offspring. [Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include the phases of meiosis or the biochemical mechanism of specific steps in the process.]
- NGSS.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. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on using data to support arguments for the way variation occurs.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include the phases of meiosis or the biochemical mechanism of specific steps in the process.]
- NGSS.HS.LS3.3 Apply concepts of statistics and probability to explain the variation and distribution of expressed traits in a population. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on the use of mathematics to describe the probability of traits as it relates to genetic and environmental factors in the expression of traits.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include Hardy-Weinberg calculations.]
- NGSS.MS.LS1.4 Use argument based on empirical evidence and scientific reasoning to support an explanation for how characteristic animal behaviors and specialized plant structures affect the probability of successful reproduction of animals and plants respectively. [Clarification Statement: Examples of behaviors that affect the probability of animal reproduction could include nest building to protect young from cold, herding of animals to protect young from predators, and vocalization of animals and colorful plumage to attract mates for breeding. Examples of animal behaviors that affect the probability of plant reproduction could include transferring pollen or seeds, and creating conditions for seed germination and growth. Examples of plant structures could include bright flowers attracting butterflies that transfer pollen, flower nectar and odors that attract insects that transfer pollen, and hard shells on nuts that squirrels bury.]
- NGSS.MS.LS1.5 Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how environmental and genetic factors influence the growth of organisms. [Clarification Statement: Examples of local environmental conditions could include availability of food, light, space, and water. Examples of genetic factors could include large breed cattle and species of grass affecting growth of organisms. Examples of evidence could include drought decreasing plant growth, fertilizer increasing plant growth, different varieties of plant seeds growing at different rates in different conditions, and fish growing larger in large ponds than they do in small ponds.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include genetic mechanisms, gene regulation, or biochemical processes.]