This data analysis question is intended for use in an IB Biology class: it presents data from an open-source scientific journal about traits of bacteria growing as biofilm or as free-floating individuals and how those traits affect competition between strains of bacteria.
This eight page question, containing 5 figures to analyze, challenges students to read graphs and diagrams, interpret the data, and apply concepts of evolution such as adaptation and competition. A detailed key is provided that includes a commentary on the answers giving clarification and suggestions for achieving high quality answers. An extension question regarding details of controls in experiments is included.
A Nature of Science connection addressing gives a brief overview of how changing views of bacterial growth (pure cultures vs biofilms) has influenced our study of bacteria. Further resources for investigation, including a link to a Ted talk, are included.
This resource is stand-alone resource to be used as part of a unit on evolution (or part of a unit on genetics if students have already studied evolution). Students also need a background in mathematical skills required for analyzing data and calculating with scientific notation.
For a detailed description of the nature of these questions, including the mathematical skills needed, download my free resource about these data analysis questions.
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