Engage your students with this week-long STEM challenge.
Have you ever noticed that different species of birds have different shaped beaks? You
would expect birds that live in the same habitat to eat the same food sources.
However, to avoid competition with each other, birds have had to adapt over time to
fill different niches within the habitat. One of those adaptations is the shape of the
birds beak, which is used to gather and eat food. You will be given a limited amount of
supplies to construct bird beaks which are best suited to gather and capture food
within the niche. The problem is that you don't know what the niches or food will look
like. Each of your beaks will be highly specialized to gather the most food possible in a
given timeframe. Your beaks will need to overcome the following feeding behaviors:
tearing, cracking, sipping, drilling, picking, probing, striking, straining, and scooping.
Do your research about the feeding behaviors to have the best chance of success
during the challenge. Along the way you will also uncover how Charles Darwin's theory
of evolution by natural selection is related to bird beaks. Get to work. The survival of
your species depends on it!
• The 21st-century problem includes a video challenge which outlines the activity in a fun and easy to understand way.
• The slideshow presentation (PPT and Keynote) allows the teacher to facilitate the pacing throughout the project.
• The teacher lesson plans include TEKS and NGSS standards alignment, and step-by-step directions on what the teacher and students should be doing along the way.
• The student notebook will guide the student through the activity. The questions will challenge students to learn new information, reflect on learned information, and provide the students a framework for the entire project.
• Each lesson is written using the Launch process. Students are going to be brainstorming with their peers and reflecting on failures and opportunities. At the end of each project, we’ve asked the students to share their ideas with the world. This holds students accountable. They will put forth the best effort knowing other students could critique the project.
What Supplies Do I Need?
Each product contains a list of suggested supplies for the project. We were very cautious about choosing inexpensive items. This project has a suggested supply list that includes: Plastic silverware, Toothpicks, Rubber bands, Cardboard, Chopsticks, Straws, Pencils, Scissors, Pipe cleaners, Plastic bottle tops, Paper, Beans, Rice, Sponge, Marbles, Nerds (candy), Pistachios with shells
The supply list is dynamic and can be adjusted to your situation.
NGSS and TEKS Standards
Aside from the engineering components of this project, students will be learning about Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution through natural selection.
NGSS: MS-ETS1-1, MS-ETS1-2, MS-ETS1-3, MS-ETS1-4, MS-LS4-4, MS-LS4-6
Other STEM Challenges
Project: Rocket Launch - Create Rocket That is Ready for Launch
Project: Birdman - Design a Bird Beak for a Feeding Frenzy
Project: Electric - Design a System to Harness Wave Energy
Project: Hurricane Defender - Build a Hurricane Proof House
Project: Inhabit Mars - Build a Landing Device for Mars
Project: Lunar Base - Design a Lunar Colony
Project: Move - Design a Pulley System To Move a Heavy Load
Project: Save the Oceans - Design a Device to Clean the Oceans
Project: Skydive - Design a Parachute For Your New Business
Project: Thrills - Design A Fast and Furious Roller Coaster
Project: Wind and Sky - Create a 21st Century Turbine
Project: Explore Mars - Create a Space Probe for a MARS Mission
STEM Challenge Bundle 20% off
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