January/February 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 4

Two Lessons for Spring – BZZZZ

Posted: Sunday, April 1st, 2012

by Rick Pomeroy

Non-Verbal Communications, Aka The Waggle Dance

Overview

Bees have been observed communicating the location of rich pollen sites to other bees in their hives by doing a “dance” that indicates the direction and distance to a pollen source. In this activity, you will simulate the bee wiggle dance by creating a series of non- verbal body signals that will direct other students to a “flower’s” location.

For more information on the Bee Waggle Dance, check out the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nga4Z_HRUsU.

Procedure

1. Select 2 people to serve as “Scout” bees for their respective hives (the classroom).  Hide two prizes in another area of your building to represent a flower that is a rich source of pollen.  Show the scouts the location of the “flower”

2. Demonstrate the Bee Wiggle Dance motions that represent direction and distance. These could include tail wagging, arm flapping, spinning or hopping.  For this activity, the dance motions are as follows:

a) Distance:  Steps- 1 step for near 5 steps for far.  Steps should come before spins

b) Direction: Spinning in circles.  After three rotations, the direction the bee is facing is the direction to the “flower”.

c) Elevation: Fold arms like wings.  Wings point to relative elevation of the “flower”

3. After showing the scouts the location of the “flower” have them dance the directions to the flower using only non-verbal cues.

4. Send the worker bees out to pollinate (bring back the prize).

5. Recognize the winning team.


Chemo Receptors in Bees

Overview

Bees utilize a very sensitive sense of smell to identify hive mates and queens so that they can be sure that they are in the correct colony when returning from pollination forays away from the hive.  In this activity, you will use smell (chemo receptors) to identify hive mates. Once you determine your hive mate, you will attempt to determine if you are in the correct hive. You will know you are in the correct hive if your scent matches the scent of the queen bee “Q”.  If you are in the wrong hive, the other bees will force you out.

Materials

Prepare two sets of scent vials using two common spices so that you have enough unique scents for every person in the class. Avoid any spices that might cause allergic reactions.  (A nice multi-cultural twist is to select cooking spices from stores that specialize in non-western cooking).   Be sure to use distinct scents to facilitate finding a hive mate.  Prepare one additional scent vial using one of the two scents marked “Q” to represent the queen bee.  You may need to poke small holes in the top of the scent vial and you may want to insert a thin layer of cotton or part of a cotton ball on the inside of the lid to prevent the scent substance from coming out. Students should rely solely on their sense of smell to find a partner.  No opening the containers or tapping out contents on the table. Film canisters make great sense containers but digital photography makes finding these canisters more and more difficult. It is important that the containers be opaque to emphasize the need to use only the sense of smell.

Procedure

1. Distribute scent vials randomly throughout the classroom.

2. Give students an opportunity to identify hive mates.  It may help to turn lights down to facilitate a heightened sense of smell. It is often difficult for students to filter out visual or auditory stimuli in an effort to concentrate on the olfactory cues

3. Once hive mates have been identified, introduce the queen scent vial and have teams determine if they are in the correct hive.

4. Discuss clues students used.  Would it have been as easy to do if the scents were not familiar to them?

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Written by Rick Pomeroy

Rick Pomeroy

Rick Pomeroy is science education lecturer/supervisor in the School of Education, University of California Davis.

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STEM Conference Hosted by CMSESMC

Posted: Saturday, January 14th, 2017

The Council of Math/Science Educators of San Mateo County will be hosting the 41st annual STEM Conference this February 4, 2017 at the San Mateo County Office of Education. This STEM Conference is the place to get lots of new lessons and ideas to use in your classroom. There will be over twenty-five workshops and a variety of exhibitors that provide participants with a wide range of practical and realistic ideas and resources to use in their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs from Pre-K to grade 12. With California’s adoption of the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards, we are dedicated to ensuring that we prepare our teachers to take on these educational policies.

Teachers, administrators, and parents are invited to explore the many exciting aspects of STEM education and learn about and discuss the latest news, information, and issues. This is also an opportunity to network with colleagues who can assist you in building your programs and meet new friends that share your interests and love of teaching. Register online today!

Learn More…

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

Submit Your NGSS Lessons and Units Today!

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

Achieve has launched and is facilitating an EQuIP Peer Review Panel for Science–a group of expert reviewers who will evaluate the quality and alignment of lessons and units to the standards–in an effort to identify and shine a spotlight on emerging high-quality lesson and unit plans designed for the NGSS.

If you or your state, district, school, or organization has designed NGSS-aligned instructional materials, please consider submitting these in order to help provide educators across the country with various models and templates of high-quality lesson and unit plans. Learn More…

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

Opportunity for High School Students – Los Angeles County

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

An upcoming Perry Outreach Program on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at the Orthopaedic Institute for Children in Los Angeles, CA. The Perry Outreach Program is a free, one-day, hands-on experience for high school and college-aged women who are interested in pursuing careers in medicine and engineering. Students will hear from women leaders in these fields and try it for themselves by performing mock orthopaedic surgeries and biomechanics experiments. Learn More…

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

Science Education Policy Update

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

January 2017 has proven to be a very busy month for science education policy and CA NGSS implementation activities. CSTA has been and will be there every step of the way, seeking and enacting all options to support high-quality science education and the successful implementation of CA NGSS.

California Department of Education/U.S. Department of Education Science Double-Testing Waiver Hearing

The year started with California Department of Education’s (CDE) hearing with the U.S. Department of Education conducted via WebEx on January 6, 2017. This hearing was the final step in California’s efforts to secure a waiver from the federal government in order to discontinue administration of the old CST and suspension of the reporting of student test scores on a science assessment for two years. As reported by EdSource, the U.S. Department of Education representative, Ann Whalen, a senior adviser to U.S. Secretary John King Jr., committed to making her final ruling “very shortly.” Deputy Superintendent Keric Ashley presented on behalf of CDE during the hearing and did an excellent job describing the broad-based support for this waiver in California, the rationale for the waiver, and California’s commitment to the successful implementation of a new high-quality science assessment. As previously reported, California is moving forward with its plans to administer a census pilot assessments this spring. The testing window is set to open on March 20, 2017. For more information visit New CA Science Test: What You Should Know.

Learn More…

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Written by Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko is CSTA’s Executive Director.

NSTA Los Angeles Conference Features Many CA Science Leaders

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

The early-bird registration rates for the 65th NSTA National Conference on Science Education in Los Angeles is just days away (ends Feb. 3). And as the early-registration deadline approaches excitement is building for what is anticipated to be the largest gathering of science educators (both California and nationwide) – with attendance expected to reach 10,000 or more. If you have never had the pleasure of attending the NSTA National Conference, I recommend you visit their website with tips for newcomers that describe the various components of the event. A conference preview is also available for download. Learn More…

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Written by Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko is CSTA’s Executive Director.