Miss Parks’ fifth grade class has been studying adaptations. Science teacher Mr. Coon set up an experiment for the students to learn about different types of beaks and how they help birds obtain food.
By Nicole Allerdings
Students were given tweezers made of tongue depressors of various sizes. The one inch wide tweezers represented a crushing type of beak. The next size, half an inch wide, was similar to a shredding or chisel-like beak. The smallest tweezers were a quarter of an inch wide and correlated to spear-type beaks. With these “beaks”, the fifth graders picked up various items off the floor and placed them in cups representing stomachs. Items like beans, string, cubes, corks and paper represented food and each had their own nutritional value, which was linked to a point value.
The students competed to reach a certain number of points in a given amount of time by picking up the items. Only the students who picked up enough “food” to reach the point level “survived” and were able to compete in the next round. The class experimented with each type of tweezer throughout several rounds. They learned that some items were easier to pick up than others. This experiment was an unique way to show how adaptations help living things survive.