AP biology students learn about evolution at American Museum of Natural History


photo by McKella Sylvester

Alyssa Cordero

On Apr. 3, students from Lauren DeNicola and Kristine Lockwood AP biology classes. The purpose of this trip was for students to receive an introduction into one of their last units, evolution.

“What is really cool about the Museum of Natural History is that it is laid out based on how organisms are related to one another,” DeNicola said. “To be able to see the kinds of evidence that scientists use and then make that a visible way for people to see it, was a great way to introduce us to evolution.”

Although students had the day to go around the museum freely, there were two exhibits that they had to stop by and see to fulfill their assignment requirements. As the goals of the trip was to familiarize students with evolution, students explored the Hall of Biodiversity and the Hall of Human Origins. Students were able to see different kinds of organisms, from bacteria to complex mammals and learn how they are organized via structure and DNA.

AP biology student Julia Moya reflected on the two exhibits, “Through genetic and bone analysis, we can see evolution and the similarities that species have between each other,” Moya said.

DeNicola had similar students and wanted her students to realize that other species have similarities and differences to humans. She also stressed on the complexity of evolution and how different kinds of evidence such as DNA or fossils is required before making concrete conclusions.

“So many people have been collecting and gathering these bits and pieces for so long,” DeNicola said.  “To see that built as a story, of not just us but of other organisms, I think it gives you more appreciation for the science and appreciation for life and how amazing it really is.”