You will need:
1. Separate the jelly beans into black and coloured ones.
2. Calculate the percentage of black jelly beans by dividing the number of black jelly beans by the total jelly beans and multiplying by 100. Write down your result. If you like, you can create a graph of jelly bean colours.
3. Hand out a cup and five jelly beans for each student.
4. Students pick out only two of their favourites from these five (yes, they can eat them, or just put them aside).
5. Return the remaining three jelly beans to the ice cream tub with the rest of the jelly beans.
6. Repeat this three times. Each student (predator) should have preyed on six jelly beans. Count up the remaining beans, and calculate again the percentage of black beans. If you like, graph your results.
Image courtesy Brandon Dilbeck
...as many people dislike the aniseed taste (check the web, there are forums and groups dedicated to the subject!). The natural selection in this case is the students’ preference for non-black beans. More black jelly beans therefore survive predation, or selection, by students.
Luckily black jelly beans are unable to pass down their traits to the next generation!
Going Further - How did life begin?