Wednesday, May 18, 2016

April Showers Bring May Flowers! Lab Happenings!

Happy Wednesday Friends!
Was it rainy during April where you live?
It was not here, but we are still enjoying our May flowers that are blooming. This prompted me to think about using seeds and flowers in STEM class and this first challenge we tried was the best ever!
Take a peek!

STEM Challenge with seeds! Students have a method of seed dispersal and must build a model to spread seeds! Fantastic extension to use after you study plants and flower parts!

Here's the story of this challenge!
I drew a fabulous anchor chart showing the methods of seed dispersal and we had a great discussion including ideas of how we could build something for each method.  Then I passed out the assignment cards.
Each group had a different one. They had some decisions to make!
How would they build a model and what materials would they need?

Here are some of their models! Are you ready? These are FABULOUS!

STEM Challenge with seeds! Students build a model to show how animals disperse seeds! Fantastic extension to use after you study plants and flower parts!
Basically, animals move seeds by eating the fruit of a plant and then expelling the seeds. They might also move seeds by taking the seeds back to the homes. Kids really enjoyed thinking about this one- mostly because they like to say the word 'poop'!
The ant in the photo is carrying away seeds in his feet.

STEM Challenge with seeds! Students build a model to show how seeds attach to animals in order to be dispersed. Fantastic extension to use after you study plants and flower parts!
Attachment is the dispersal method that involves plant parts clinging to an animal. This one has an interesting story that involves the invention of velcro! Think about it! The group in the photo made a turkey! They even included the turkey's wattle with a piece of red yarn. Their seeds are clinging to the turkey 'feathers'.

STEM Challenge with seeds! Students build a model to show how seeds travel by water to be dispersed.  Fantastic extension to use after you study plants and flower parts!
Did you know that most seeds float? So, what would you build to show this dispersal method? Most of my groups built a form of a boat that carried the seeds away. The one in the photo looks fabulous, but it was made entirely of cotton balls so it sunk immediately!

STEM Challenge with seeds! Students build a model to show how seeds travel by wind to be dispersed.  Fantastic extension to use after you study plants and flower parts!
Kids loved this one! Most groups hoped they would be assigned this dispersal method or the last one!
Some form of a parachute was what the teams built.  And the parachute dispersed their seeds.

STEM Challenge with seeds! Students build a model to show how gravity causes seed dispersal. Fantastic extension to use after you study plants and flower parts!
Gravity is a form of dispersal, but generally results in dropping the seeds right near the parent plant. This is really not what you want to happen. You want those seeds to travel away. The team in the photo made a cherry by wrapping red yarn around the seeds and adding a green straw as the stem. They cut that red yarn to show the cherry drop to the ground. 

STEM Challenge with seeds! Students build a model to show how seed pods explode to disperse seeds. Fantastic extension to use after you study plants and flower parts!
This dispersal method was, by far, the one all the kids wanted. They just loved thinking about placing seeds inside a balloon and then popping the balloon to create the exploding and seed dispersal. 

Y'all we had the best time with this challenge! The kids learned so much about seed dispersal and their models were precious!
STEM Challenge with seeds! Students have a method of seed dispersal and must build a model to spread seeds! Fantastic extension to use after you study plants and flower parts!

So, what have you been doing in your science class?
Coming Soon:
Bird Feeders
3-D Flowers
Potatoes


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