Start by completing the Nova Labs Evolution missions:

  1. Go to and click on “log-in” in the top right-hand corner. Create a PBS account. You may log in with an existing account if you already have one. Be sure to log in every time you are working on Nova Labs. This will allow you to save your progress and send me a report.
  2. Go to, ensure you are logged in (click on the yellow person in the top left and you should see your name in the pop-out menu).
  3. Watch the Evolution 101 video. While watching, think about the following questions: Due 4/6
    • What are the two key ingredients for natural selection?
    • Why does survival of the fittest not mean that the strongest or biggest survive? Can you think of examples where not being strong and big is an advantage?
  4. Go to and log in. Complete the “Introduction to Evolution” quiz. 
  5. Go to Nova Labs and complete the 6 missions. Ensure you are logged in. Complete the video quizzes and the interactive lessons. You can complete one mission at a time or do them all at once.  
  6. Return to and complete the “Evidence for Evolution” (Mission 2) and “DNA and Evolution” (Mission 3) quizzes after you finish those missions.
  7. After completing all 3 quizzes, click “My Lab Report” in the top right of the screen. Click the link for an HTML Evolution Lab Report (bottom right of the pop-up). Your answers and notes from the quiz will be included. I need a copy of this report. You can “print to PDF” and send me the pdf or you can print it on paper and scan/photograph the printout and send that to me. You can take screenshots and edit them into one image and send me that. You can use any other method you can think of that gets your results to me without you actually leaving your house. If you have a suggestion, please share it with me and with the class. Due 4/13
  8. Once you finish all 6 missions at Nova Labs take a screenshot of your progress and fractal tree and send it to me through Teams. Due 4/13

Once you have finished the Nova Labs Missions, please select 7 organisms and complete a phylogenetic tree and report:

  1. Go to Nova Deep Tree and explore a little bit. Select 7 organisms from the tree, including a plant, a fungus, two mammals, a reptile, a bird, and a dinosaur. You must not have the same list as another student, but I am fine if one or two organisms overlap. Due 4/13
  2. Complete a report on your chosen organisms. There will be two parts to your report: a written portion and a poster (be creative – you will share your work with the class by standing in front of your camera and presenting). This is not meant to be a huge project – focus on learning about organisms you find interesting and on presenting in a way that is fun to you, not on making something long and involved! Due 4/20
    1. Report (this should fit on one page)
      • List each organism you are studying and write a one- or two-sentence description of the organism. 
      • Write several sentences or a paragraph to answer this question: If you were to categorize these organisms into a family tree, what methods would you use to categorize them? Provide examples of traits you would use to categorize the organisms. Use the space you need to explain, but not more. Don’t write pages or spend hours. Half a page is the maximum. Less is more.
      • Include a Literature Cited or References or Bibliography section. I need to be able to check each of your resources. For example, if you use an online resource, I need a working link. Choose reputable sources, but be flexible. I know you cannot visit the library. It is fine to ask an expert (for example, if your mom is a bacteriologist or your uncle is a veterinarian). If you get all of your information from the Nova Lab site, cite that.
      • Upload a pdf or Word doc to the Teams assignment
    2. Presentation
      • Build a phylogenetic tree demonstrating the relationships between your 7 species. Use a rough approximation of relative evolutionary distance, unless you want to use time and have enough data to do so.
      • Prepare to present your tree creatively – you will need to present via Zoom – be sure that your presentation will work in this format. You can make a poster (a blank piece of paper is fine for this – no need to use poster board) and hold it up to your camera and speak. Be sure we can see your work on camera. Be creative! Do something that is fun and enjoyable for you. If you are doing something particularly unusual, please check in with me to ensure we can make it work through Zoom.
      • Upload a picture of your work to the Teams assignment