South Orangetown Central School District

Science teacher Janesa Martinez’s classes have been engaged in a “Battle of the Beaks” lab inspired by Darwin’s Adaptation Theory, known popularly as “survival of the fittest.” 

For this lab, students chose an item (binder clip, tweezers, clothespin and fork) representing various types of beak adaptations and tried to pick up different types of food with them. As they moved through each round, they were able to pick at different foods (pinto beans, rubber bands, toothpicks and pasta) to determine which was easiest for their beak to grab. In the final round, they created a common feeding circle within each lab group to see what style of beak could get the most food in 60 seconds. They discovered that the binder clip was the most difficult to gather food with and therefore, the least likely to survive in the wild. The winner? Tweezers! Students discovered that tweezers could gather the most food in a short amount of time and pick up a larger variety of foods.

 The excitement and anticipation of this lab activity was amazing to observe,” said Martinez. “The students were so focused and really loved participating in this lab.”

SOMS science students participate in lab activity