Evolution STEM Project Based Assessment NGSS Natural Selection Adaptations


SKU: 8085194 Category: Tags: , ,


This one-week project-based assessment for Evolution and Engineering is engaging, rigorous, easy to implement and the students love it! It covers Natural Selection and Adaptations, Homologous Structures, Embryologic Development and NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas LS4.B and LS4.C: Natural Selection and Adaptations, LS4.A: Evidence of Common Ancestry and Diversity.

It has Hard Copy and virtual options.

It’s packed with teacher directions to make your job much easier.

Students bring in their own random household items to build their model, so there’s no time spent on gathering materials.

I recommend this project as an end of unit project-based assessment.

Pacing breakdown:

Day 1- Student Research and planning (110 minutes)

Day 2- Building Models (110 minutes)

Day 3- Presenting models (30 minutes)

What Students Do:

Students create/design a species that will be able to survive and adapt on a hypothetical planet. Students design the species based on the unique alien habitat of the planet. They create unique traits and adaptations based on the hypothetical planet’s environment that will allow their species to survive, AKA Natural Selection. Students also provide/create evidence of common ancestry with the other species on the alien planet, by creating homologous structures and illustrating embryologic development. Students do all this in a Google Slideshow or on a hard copy. This is the first 110-minute block period.

The 2nd 110-minute block period consists of students building their organism. This is where the engineering piece comes in. Their model must have a movable jaw for eating, a defense mechanism against predators and moveable appendages for mobility.

The last class meeting students present their organisms to the class by describing the name of their species, the environment it lives in and the adaptations it has evolved to acquire to survive in its environment. This is approximately 30 minutes.

What Teachers Do:

Introduce the project, model the requirements and expectations, and field questions for approximately 15-20 minutes and that’s it! The rest of the project is student centered, student led, and you get to sit back, watch and facilitate!

This product Includes the following:

-Teacher Google Slideshow for modeling, lesson pacing, student directions and classroom management.

-Student Google Slideshow and hard copy

-Student directions Google Slideshow and hard copy

-Student project check in Google Form to help students stay on track and pay attention to the requirements

-This resource is not editable due to the Terms of Use of the clip artists and subscription photo services that I purchase.

NGSS Disciplinary Core Ides (DCI):

LS4.C: Adaptation: Anatomical similarities and differences between various organisms living today and between them and organisms in the fossil record, enable the reconstruction of evolutionary history and the inference of lines of evolutionary descent. (MS-LS4-2)

Adaptation by natural selection acting over generations is one important process by which species change over time in response to changes in environmental conditions. Traits that support successful survival and reproduction in the new environment become more common; those that do not become less common. Thus, the distribution of traits in a population changes. (MS-LS4-6)

LS4.B: Natural Selection: Natural selection leads to the predominance of certain traits in a population, and the suppression of others. (MS-LS4-4).

Comparison of the embryological development of different species also reveals similarities that show relationships not evident in the fully-formed anatomy. (MS-LS4-3)

NGSS Cross Cutting Concepts (CCC)

Patterns: Patterns can be used to identify cause and effect relationships. (MS-LS4-2)

Graphs, charts, and images can be used to identify patterns in data. (MS-LS4-1),(MS-LS4-3)

Cause and Effect:

Phenomena may have more than one cause, and some cause and effect relationships in systems can only be described using probability.

Structure and Function:

Complex and microscopic structures and systems can be visualized, modeled, and used to describe how their function depends on the shapes, composition, and relationships among its parts; therefore, complex natural and designed structures/systems can be analyzed to determine how they function. (MS-LS3-1)

Science and Engineering Practices

Developing and Using Models

A practice of both science and engineering is to use and construct models as helpful tools for representing ideas and explanations. These tools include diagrams, drawings, physical replicas, mathematical representations, analogies, and computer simulations.

Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

The products of science are explanations and the products of engineering are solutions.

This resource has the following concepts:


Natural Selection and Adaptations

Homologous Structures


Structure and Function

Common Ancestor



Inheritance of Traits

Positive Mutations

Predators and Prey

Related Products
Claim Evidence Reasoning ESS1.C History of Earth Permian Triassic Extinction
Claim Evidence Reasoning Human Evolution MS-LS4-1 HS-LS4-2 HS-LS4-1 MS-LS4-2
Claim Evidence Reasoning Plate Tectonics Pangaea Article and Graphic Organizer
Claim Evidence Reasoning: Evidence from Oldest DNA Shows Common Ancestry
MS-LS4-1: NGSS Geologic Time Scale Card Sort
NGSS Claim Evidence Reasoning (CER) Oldest Evidence of Life on Land Found
NGSS Claim Evidence Reasoning: Proof That Earth Is in Its 6th Mass Extinction
NGSS LS3.A LS3.B Inheritance & Variation of Traits PowerPoint Google Slides
NGSS LS4.B: Natural Selection and LS4.C: Adaptations Video & Guided Questions
NGSS Mysterious New Form of DNA Claim Evidence Reasoning Graphic Organizer


• All rights reserved by Williams Hands On Science, Inc.

• This product is to be used by the original purchaser only.

• Intended for classroom and personal use only.

• Copying for more than one teacher, classroom, department, school, or school system is prohibited.

• This product may not be distributed or displayed digitally for public view.

• Failure to comply is a copyright infringement and a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

If there are any errors or questions, please contact me through TpT or email me at:


Thank you for taking a look!

Please follow me on TpT for new products and check me out on Instagram for my products in action!



There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Evolution STEM Project Based Assessment NGSS Natural Selection Adaptations”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *