The Understanding Evolution website has stood the test of time. The site first launched in 2004, expanded into a premier resource for teaching and learning about evolution, and continues to attract millions of visitors a year. Now a modernized and enhanced Understanding Evolution is ready for the next generation of users.
Funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Understanding Evolution’s overhaul was based on guidance from scientific and teacher advisors, as well as input from site users. The project involved:
- reviewing and updating the content on our most popular pages
- updating images and phylogenies throughout the site
- developing a new feature, Digging Data, to bring authentic evolutionary data onto the website and into the classroom
- giving the site a sleek new look and an improved navigation system
Of course, the site still houses tried and true teaching resources, including:
- Evo 101, our English/Spanish e-textbook
- Student-friendly news stories that connect evolutionary concepts to current events
- A database of lessons vetted by experienced teachers
It also offers fun, educational resources to explore on your own, like:
- the interactive investigations Visualizing Life on Earth and The Arthropod Story
- A trilingual, printable comic book connecting paleontology, mass extinction, and climate change
- Big History at your fingertips in the ChronoZoom Time Atlas
All of that is just what you can see. Lots went on behind the scenes too. We moved all of our Flash animations to a modern platform and recreated about a thousand webpages in a content management system, which vastly improves the security of the site and will make it easier to update in the future, as the Internet continues to evolve.
Many thanks to the UCMP staff and students, as well as our external advisors, who contributed their time and expertise to making sure that Understanding Evolution sticks around for another decade.