Get the buzz on the power of pollination with a quick game and invention challenge to help ensure a future full of flowering plants!
- Construction paper
- Craft items (e.g., rubber bands, pipe cleaners, etc.)
- Create targets by cutting flowers out of construction paper and scattering them in an open space. Crumple up several pieces of paper to symbolize pollen.
- Stand facing the flower targets and blow or throw the paper pollen at the flowers.
- Play the Pollination Video to discover more about the science behind pollination and receive an additional invention challenge.
- After watching the video, take a moment to sketch your design of a new type of pollinating device.
- Use recyclables and any nearby craft items such as rubber bands and pipe cleaners to build a prototype of your unique pollinating device. Remember, a prototype is simply a preliminary model or “rough draft” of a final product and does not need to function.
Educators: Use this activity in the classroom with these modifications!
To get a bee’s eye view of pollination, consider planting a garden outdoors. Select native plants that attract pollinators such as butterflies and bees. Have children make predictions about what types of insects or birds will visit the garden. Then, have them observe the garden and jot down notes about their findings. Do the pollinators prefer one type of plant over another? How much time do they spend on a flower? Is there a pattern to how they visit the flowers? The amount of data students can collect is endless!
What Are We Learning?
In this STEM activity, students learn about the importance of pollination, and about how different birds and insects play an essential part in ensuring the future of our food supply. By exploring how pollination works, and what types of flowers pollinators prefer, children can begin making decisions that will improve the environment and help maintain the populations of pollinators for years to come.
Become inspired by National Inventors Hall of Fame® Inductees Lorenzo Langstroth and Luther Burbank. Langstroth is credited with inventing the modern beehive, which includes moveable frames that allow beekeepers to easily manage their bees and extract honey. Burbank created more than 800 strains and varieties of plants, including 113 plums and prunes, 10 types of berries and the Freestone peach (a peach with an easily removable pit).