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Table 2.

Linking simulation steps, analogs, and targets.

Mapping Analog to Targets
Simulation StepsParts of Simulation (Analog)What Happens in Nature (Concrete Target)Components of Natural Selection (Conceptual Target)
1. Students obtain a bag of 40 noodles of different colors (10 yellow, 10 orange, 10 purple, 10 green) Bag full of 40 noodles Population of organisms of the same species  
 Noodles have different colors and shapes Different physical expressions of traits within the population Variation within a population 
2. Students spread out 40 noodles over a small area of grass Grass Environment in which the population lives  
3. Student approaches grass and picks up as many noodles as s/he can in 15 seconds Students picking up noodles Predators hunt organisms Population constraint 
 Picked-up noodles Hunted organisms  
4. Students calculate the number of noodles remaining in the grass Noodles remaining in grass Organisms that survived the hunt  
5. Students double the number of noodles of each color remaining in the grass and record the new population numbers Adding noodles Surviving organisms reproduce Differential reproduction 
 New numbers of colored noodles Next generation of the population  
6. Students repeat steps 4 and 5 multiple times Multiple rounds of picking up and adding noodles Multiple generations  
7. Students observe and graph the changing numbers of different-colored noodles throughout the simulation Some noodles decreased after multiple rounds (orange); some noodles increased after multiple rounds (green, yellow) Some organisms were seen more easily than others; those that blended in to the environment were more likely to survive and reproduce  
 Percentage of different noodle types in last generation is different from initial generation Change in overall genetic make-up of the population Heredity 
Mapping Analog to Targets
Simulation StepsParts of Simulation (Analog)What Happens in Nature (Concrete Target)Components of Natural Selection (Conceptual Target)
1. Students obtain a bag of 40 noodles of different colors (10 yellow, 10 orange, 10 purple, 10 green) Bag full of 40 noodles Population of organisms of the same species  
 Noodles have different colors and shapes Different physical expressions of traits within the population Variation within a population 
2. Students spread out 40 noodles over a small area of grass Grass Environment in which the population lives  
3. Student approaches grass and picks up as many noodles as s/he can in 15 seconds Students picking up noodles Predators hunt organisms Population constraint 
 Picked-up noodles Hunted organisms  
4. Students calculate the number of noodles remaining in the grass Noodles remaining in grass Organisms that survived the hunt  
5. Students double the number of noodles of each color remaining in the grass and record the new population numbers Adding noodles Surviving organisms reproduce Differential reproduction 
 New numbers of colored noodles Next generation of the population  
6. Students repeat steps 4 and 5 multiple times Multiple rounds of picking up and adding noodles Multiple generations  
7. Students observe and graph the changing numbers of different-colored noodles throughout the simulation Some noodles decreased after multiple rounds (orange); some noodles increased after multiple rounds (green, yellow) Some organisms were seen more easily than others; those that blended in to the environment were more likely to survive and reproduce  
 Percentage of different noodle types in last generation is different from initial generation Change in overall genetic make-up of the population Heredity 
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