Sackler Educational Laboratory for Comparative Genomics and Human Origins for School Groups Hero Image

Lab D: Exploring Human Orgins - Fossil Skulls, Stone Tools, and DNA

October 7, 2013 - June 20, 2014



In this 90 minute lab activity, students compare the evolution of hominid skulls, stone tool technologies, and DNA sequences to understand which biological and cultural traits are adaptations unique to each species and which are shared. Student will combine their physical, cultural, and genetic data to determine where each species fits on the evolutionary tree.


Grades 9-12 Science

Essential Question: How do changes in environmental conditions affect the survival of individual organisms with a particular trait?
Students will be able to explain the mechanisms and patterns of evolution

When: Monday - Friday
Morning Lab: 10:30am - 12:00pm
Afternoon Lab: 1:00-pm - 2:30pm


Living Environment Key Idea 3: Individual organisms and species change over time.

New York State Science Core Curriculum
Major Understanding: LE 3.1e: Natural selection and its evolutionary consequences provide a scientific explanation for the fossil record of ancient life-forms, as well as for the molecular and structural similarities observed among the diverse species of living organisms.


Prepare Your Students For Their Trip With The Following Pre-visit Activities:

 Spitzer Hall of Human Origins Educator Guide
For Teachers: Pre-visit Activities, Grades 9-12
Click here.


Meet Your Relatives
How are you like a chimpanzee? In what ways do you differ from a Neanderthal? Find out with this detailed, interactive look at humans and their closest cousins.
Click here.


Understanding Cladistics
Click here.