I love integrating STEM challenges into science units! This pollinator STEM challenge is a great way to integrate STEM with ecosystems in second grade!
This project comes after our study of how organisms within an ecosystem depend on each other.
First, we read the problem digital slide about Farmer Dave and his need for an efficient pollinator. Then, we brainstormed ideas for how to build a pollinator model to solve this problem.
To prep this challenge, I got the materials listed on the planning page. (There is also a blank planning page so you can add your own materials.)
Once the plan was made, we were ready to build! We built a simple bug from pompoms and pipe cleaners. It kinda reminds me of an ant on a stick! :) We also prepped the flowerbed ecosystem by using cupcake liners and coffee grounds and cornmeal.
Once the "flowerbed" was prepped we were ready to test out our model. We practiced "pollinating" by dipping our bug into the cornmeal and then the coffee grounds. We went back and forth a few times.
If you look closely in the cornmeal, you can see where the coffee grounds mixed in!
This was clearly a successful pollination! Mixed pollen in both flowers and pollen all over our bug!
Finally, we wrote about our model pollinator and brainstormed ways to improve it!
You can find this STEM challenge and more activities on ecosystems and interdependence for 2nd grade in this Ecosystems Unit.