Scale, Probability, Causation, and Correlation

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This assignment requires students to consider data related to how meteor impacts and volcanism may relate to mass extinction events. Students will apply their understanding of climate change and geophysics to answer questions based on published studies. They will also practice working with scientific notation, doing back of the envelope calculations and understanding scientific assumptions. This document serves as a student handout; an answer key is provided in an accompanying document.

Climate Change, Human Evolution, and Encephalization

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This assignment requires students to consider data related to how climate change may relate to processes in human evolution. Students will apply their understanding of climate change, archaeology, anthropology, and human biology to answer questions based on several different published studies. They will also practice working with scientific notation and understanding scientific assumptions. This document serves as a student handout; an answer key is provided in an accompanying document.

Evolution of Language

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Comparison of the blood-oxygen-level-dependent neural activity from Chinese dyslexic and non-dyslexic subjects.

This assignment requires students to consider data related to the evolution of language in several different models: human dyslexia, the songs of finches, and the cries of non-human primates. Students will apply their understanding of language evaluation techniques as well as neurobiology to answer questions based on several different published studies. They will also practice working with scientific notation and understanding scientific assumptions. This document serves as a student handout; an answer key is provided in an accompanying document.

Experiments and Observations with Xenopus laevis

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Changes in laryngeal muscle fiber numbers through post metamorphic development.

This assignment requires students to consider data related to the sexual differentiation of vocal behavior in the frog. Students will apply their understandings of experimental technique and neurobiology to answer questions based on several different published studies. They will also practice working with scientific notation and understanding scientific assumptions. This document serves as a student handout; an answer key is provided in an accompanying document.

Hearing and the Human Brain

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The cochlea and basilar membrane.The cochlea and basilar membrane.

This assignment requires students to consider data related to the development of hearing in the human brain. Students will apply their understanding of the physics of sound as well as neurobiology to answer questions based on several different published studies. They will also practice working with scientific notation and understanding scientific assumptions. This document serves as a student handout; an answer key is provided in an accompanying document.

Wombats and Bees

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Butterfly, bird, and plant declines.

This assignment requires students to consider data related to diversity in local animal populations. Students will apply their understanding of samples, populations, and statistics to data from several different published studies of biodiversity. This document serves as a student handout; an answer key is provided in an accompanying document.

Population Ecology

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Expected decline without TEDS.

In this assignment, students will consider models for managing populations of sea turtles and fish. For the first question, students will apply their understanding of statistical concepts (means, standard deviations, t tests, hypothesis testing) to the results of a model simulation and use their analysis to make a policy recommendation about turtle conservation. In the second question, students will calculate and compare the survival rates resulting from two strategies of fish population management. This document serves as a student handout; an answer key is provided in an accompanying document.

Habitats and Resources

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Feeding time for long-tailed macaques.

In this assignment, students work with concepts related to land use, feeding/foraging efficiency, and dispersal of populations due to human disturbance. Using data from a published study on deforestation, these questions require students to read and interpret graphical displays of data, make quantitative comparisons based on data, make predictions based on hypotheses, and calculate P values. This document serves as a student handout; an answer key is provided in an accompanying document.

Planetary Habitation and Detection

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The theoretical equilibrium temperature of a planet as a function of distance from the Sun.

In the first of these two multipart questions, students will apply their understanding of stellar luminosity and planetary equilibrium to estimate and interpret the theoretical "habitable zone" in our solar system. In the second question, students will use a simulation of Doppler spectroscopy to understand how detecting "wobble" is used to estimate a star's mass and orbital period. This assignment also gives students a chance to read and interpret a graph with a logarithmic scale and to consider the utility of simulations in science.

Stars and Galaxies

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Main sequence plot question.

This assignment requires students to apply their understanding of galaxies, distance, the HR diagram, and the characteristics of stars (size, brightness, temperature) to a set of calculations and interpretations.