by Leslie Trimble, Episcopal Academy

The teaching of evolution in school has been on trial in several states. But how did life on Earth begin? Students will research several possible scenarios, then present their arguments to the School Board (their classmates).


February 13, 2009

Darwin celebrated, despite controversy, on 200th birthday 

You have probably heard of Charles Darwin, who first wrote about evolution, the idea that living things change over time, and that all living things have come from a common ancestor.  Scientists agree that this idea best explains all life on Earth, but after 200 years, people in the United States are still not all convinced.   The teaching of evolution in schools has been taken to court in several states in the U.S., including Pennsylvania.  Now a version of this controversy has come to Episcopal Academy.

We have all heard about the Big Bang that started the Universe.   But how did life start here on Earth?  Where did it come from?  Is there other life in the Universe that came to Earth?  The Science Department, parents, and the Religion Department are arguing about what students should know about this subject.  It's now up to you to convince the Upper School administration which idea is best.

In this Webquest you will research several different ideas about how life began on Earth.  You will present your ideas and try to convince the school administators that your theory is the best explanation for how life began on Earth and the one that everyone at in 9th grade should learn.  Good luck!