Here’s a news story that covers an outreach activity the Duffy Lab led for the fall FEMMES capstone. As the article says, FEMMES is “an educational outreach organization that strives to encourage participation of females and underrepresented students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.” Clara Shaw led our lab’s activity, with assistance fromMeghan Duffy, Michelle Fearon (Tibbetts lab), Camden Gowler, Katie McClean, and Andrew Wood (Duda lab).
From the article:
The Duffy Lab activity, “Survival of the Fittest,” taught the girls about how birds feed on different types of foods, including how that is influenced by natural selection and adaptation. They began by viewing photos of iconic birds and discussing what they might be good at eating, considering their beak sizes and shapes, explained Shaw. Next, they “became birds” using different utensils (such as toothpicks, straws, clothespins) as their “beaks” to try to “eat” a variety of food options like marshmallows, pasta shells, dry beans and hard candy. After experimenting with their ability to pick up various foods, they graphed their results and discussed how differential abilities to eat particular food could result in natural selection.
We had a great time with the girls!