Optimal foraging theory is a principle that is often presented in the community ecology section of biology textbooks, but also can be demonstrated in the laboratory. We introduce a lab activity that uses an interactive strategy to teach high school and/or college students about this ecological concept. The activity is ideal because it engages students in a hands-on activity that teaches them a fundamental ecological principle; it can be completed in a short class period; and it utilizes a few inexpensive, easy-to-purchase supplies.
In 1858, Darwin published On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection . His explanation of evolution by natural selection has become the unifying theme of biology. We have found that many students do not fully comprehend the process of evolution by natural selection. We discuss a few simple games that incorporate hands-on activities to demonstrate to students this important aspect of biology.