Deep Look: This Vibrating Bumblebee Unlocks a Flower's Hidden Treasure | Deep Look

Contributor
KQED San Francisco and presented by PBS Digital Studios.
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Types
Phenomenon
Note
This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be “fully aligned,” the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.

Reviews

Description

The short 5 minute video describes a particular kind of pollination, called buzz pollination, an adaptation of plants to select their pollinator for maximum dispersal.

 

Intended Audience

Educator and learner
Educational Level
  • Elementary School
Language
English
Access Restrictions

Free access - The right to view and/or download material without financial, registration, or excessive advertising barriers.

Performance Expectations

2-LS2-2 Develop a simple model that mimics the function of an animal in dispersing seeds or pollinating plants.

Clarification Statement: none

Assessment Boundary: none

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this performance expectation, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
This wonderful video highlights a phenomenon that is unusual and fascinating. The narrator uses a tuning fork, a model of how the sound the bee produces help it gain access to the flowers pollen. Note the narrator says “That’s how flowers have sex” at video's minute mark of 1:00-1:15., which, while accurate, may be a little problematic.  The teacher needs to consider the phrase "that's how flowers have sex" ahead of time to ensure a thoughtful response to students inquiries.

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this science and engineering practice, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
The video’s narrator demonstrates the model of a tuning fork to represent the proposed function of the bee’s wings. And the narrator demonstrates how it works (showing evidence) in the same way as the bee’s buzzing to get to the pollen.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
Even though dispersal of seeds are not discussed, the “or” in the Disciplinary Core Idea suggests that the Performance Expectation is fully met.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this crosscutting concept, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
The shape of the wings allows for the bee to make the correct sound.  Tt is clear that there is a relationship between structure and function. The video does focus on the structure or shape of the flower’s parts and explains how that is related to the structure and function of selection for reproduction.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: The video is extremely well done in quality, photography, and  content. As is, the video is aligned to the Performance Expectations and to the spirit of the NGSS. Motivated by a meaningful and authentic phenomenon, it addresses the core idea, the practice and the Crosscutting Concept, and leads toward deeper understanding of the Performance Expectation. Tips: This would be the perfect video to accompany bee sticks and other models of structure and function for explaining the relationship between bees and pollination. The other lessons about bees and pollination that are commonly used do not address selection capacity of the flower for specific animals, as this video does.

  • Instructional Supports: The video accompanied by the suggested tips engages students in authentic and meaningful event that reflects the practices of science as experienced in the real world. The students are able to connect with the event in the video because the narrator prompts interaction through use of reflective questions.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: The teacher will need to monitor progress by questioning the students and asking discussion. There is no rubric or any embedded way to monitor student progress. In order to assess understanding, the teacher would need to ask students to explain how the model of the tuning fork performs the same function as the bee, and use evidence.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: Video quality is superior.  The photographs show very close up views of the event and are beautifully and artfully done.