STEM Instructional Materials

This Middle School OER Unit presents two MS NGSS Life Science topic bundles using the context of Bee Colony Collapse Disorder as an anchoring phenomenon. Students explore the global issue of dying honey bees and develop a plan to help preserve the honey bee population. Through various investigative phenomenon such as the eruption at Mt Saint Helens and the reintroduction of wolves in Yellowstone, students study the foundations and interactions existing within and across ecosystems. Finally, students create and share a public product which strives to educate and mobilize their community towards bee preservation and appreciation for ecosystem services.

Unit Overview

Grades: Middle School

Duration: 25+ sessions


  • Computers with Internet
  • Access (one per student or pair)
  • Chart Paper and Markers
  • Materials for FOSS
  • Investigation 1: Milkweed Bugs
  • Materials for Nature Conservancy Lesson
  • Materials for Carbon Cycle Game (not provided in STEM kit)
  • Materials for FOSS Investigation 3: Miniecosystems.
  • Materials for FOSS Investigation 2: Sorting out life
  • Materials for Engineering Artificial Pollinators Activity: markers, colored pencils, graph paper, chart paper, post-its
  • Materials for FOSS Investigation 6: Miniecosystems