Over the past 6 weeks, Think Tank has been a BUZZ with all things bees. From our partnership with DC Beekeepers to our Wisconsin Fast Plants unit, Think Tank learning about the partnership between honeybees and plants is in full bloom! Take a closer look at what our 3rd and 2nd graders have been up to!
For the second year in a row, 3rd grade partnered with master beekeeper Toni Burnham and volunteer Barry Hayman of DC Beekeepers to complete an intensive, 10 week honeybee unit. Each class is an in-depth look at a very specific part of honeybee survival. This year, we focused strongly on structural and behavioral adaptations as this is an important 3rd grade NGSS concept. Honeybees truly are our insect partners! Take a look!
Students looked at the biggest issues harming our honeybee population. Students also used math to tell the story of the bee population troubles.Take a look what these numbers show…. it’s frightening!
They then learned what was contributing to the colony issues. Construction, monoculture, mass-pesticide use and disease are all killing honeybees faster than beekeepers can keep up with. They took their ideas and made posters to show how they think we can save the bees!
After learning about why the bees make certain things we love (honey) and use ( beeswax), students tasted raw pollen and made their own beeswax candles.
What comes next??
When spring arrives, students will wrap up this partnership with 4 week unit putting their learning into action! Lessons include building a hive, making native pollinator nests, seed balls and harvesting their own honey!
For more information or access to this amazing curriculum, please contact Toni Burnham at firstname.lastname@example.org . She is an amazing resource and has this entire unit ready for any teacher to use!
For 2nd grade, rockin’ classroom teachers Ms. Hipps and Ms. Fox completed completed the awesome Engineering is Elementary unit “Designing Hand Pollinators” as part of their Quarter 1 cornerstone. Students explored the issue of lack of native pollinators in various places around the world and then designed hand pollinators that worked with a variety of different plants. You can check out some pictures from their study on the class Twitter feed @maury2ndgrade !
To build on that knowledge, student then came to Think Tank where they planted, grew and tended to Wisconsin Fast Plants. As part of this process, they pollinated the plants with real, dried bees and saw the real-life outcome of pollination. While we are now in the waiting phase for our pods to dry and collect our seeds, take a look at the process we went through to get there!
|Students followed a specific procedure for planting.|
|Each week they observed and measured and recorded data about their plants.|
|Plants must be kept under grow lights 24h a day.|
When the flowers bloomed, it was time to pollinate!
Students used real bees ( dried and glued to sticks) to pollinate their flowers. They identified the flower structures and make observations about the transfer of pollen too!
A week later our pods are fully forming! Petals fell off ( they are not needed to attract pollinators anymore) and students can see the seeds inside. Did you know that every seed was once one grain of pollen?