Grade Range
9th-12th
Group Size
2
Total Time
3 hours
Credits
TeachEngineering logo

Overview

A hypothetical scenario is introduced in which the class is asked to apply their understanding of the forces that drive natural selection to prepare a proposal along with an environmental consulting company to help clean up an area near their school that is contaminated with trichloroethylene (TCE). Students use the Avida-ED software application to test hypotheses for evolving (engineering) a strain of bacteria that can biodegrade TCE, resulting in a non-hazardous cleanup solution. Conduct this design challenge activity after completion of the introduction to digital evolution activity, Studying Evolution with Digital Organisms.

Engineering Connection

Computer scientists and engineers work together to create software and hardware to model complex systems and create new technologies. The digital evolution software, Avida, was created by a group of computer scientists and software engineers interested in the experimental study of digital organisms in order to better understand how biological natural selection works and then to apply that knowledge to solving computational problems. Evolutionary computation methods can be applied to solve a wide range of engineering design problems.

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Grade Range
9th-12th
Group Size
2
Total Time
3 hours
Credits
TeachEngineering logo
Free science fair projects.