Unit Overview

After learning about pollinators and their importance, students engineer hand pollinators that move pollen from one pumpkin flower to another.

  • Grade 2
  • Setting: In school
  • Science connection: Pollination, life cycles of plants
  • 9 lessons
  • 45 minutes per lesson

Standards alignment

We’ve developed each YES unit with careful attention to NGSS standards. YES units are also designed to integrate with the most popular elementary and middle school curricula. View Standards Alignment

Unit Map

Students are introduced to engineering by designing a model bench for people waiting at a bus stop.
Students read a story about two friends struggling to grow pumpkins. They complete a puzzle to learn that fruits cannot grow without pollinators.
Students act as flowers and bees in a game to learn how as the bee population in a hive decreases, fewer flowers are pollinated.
Students consider the features of pumpkin flowers and the needs of various pollinators to understand that bees are the best pollinators for pumpkins.
Students test materials to determine which might work well for the tips and handles of their hand pollinators.
Students independently imagine ideas for their hand pollinators. They work with a partner to plan one hand pollinator design.
Students create their hand pollinators and test how well their designs pick up and drop off pollen.
Students identify aspects of their hand pollinators to improve. They make adjustments and test their improved designs.
Students share their designs with their peers and reflect on their engineering work.

Teacher Preparation Videos

Pollination Station Game

Model Flower

Videos for Students

Test Tip Materials

Test an Example Hand Pollinator

Pumpkin pollinator icon

What’s Included?

  • Teacher Guide (PDF)
  • Teacher Slides (Google Slides)
  • Student Engineering Notebook (PDF)
  • Illustrated Story (Google Slides or PDF)
  • Print Materials (PDF)