Resources for Educators

You can use the census as a virtual STEAM activity!

Many school systems are going back to school virtually in August.  The census is a STEAM activity that you can use in your virtual classroom:

  • Explore the links below for ideas on getting your students excited about insects and the census.  Videos from the Entomological Society of America can be fun and educational!  I also like pollinator haiku – Ode to the Wasp!
  • Use the Powerpoint below to teach your students the entomology needed to participate.
  • Join us on the Georgia Pollinator Census Facebook group to get ideas and capture educational snippets that you can use with your class.  Scroll through past Fridays to find many #FunFactFridays.
  • Provide each student with one of the counting forms.
  • Generate excitement by having a countdown to the census.
  • Have each student count at home with their families.
  • Encourage them to upload their counts directly to the website or send them to you for uploading.
  • Use the classroom data for extra math lessons like graphing the pollinators that your class counted.
  • Encourage your students to download the Certificate of Participation that will be available on the website beginning August 20th.  
Email Becky Griffin ( if you have any questions or need additional ideas or inspiration!
Students at Maynard Jackson High School in Atlanta count insects as part of the census pilot project.
Campers at the Kid's Camp at the Research and Education Garden in Griffin created their own bee homes.
Young people learning about insects at the Atlanta Science Festival.

Featured Activity:

Honey Bee Roles:

Honey bees take on different roles, or chores, as they age.  This activity goes through each stage using props to illustrate the roles. It is appropriate for all ages and fun for all.  Download the activity instructions HERE.

 UGA Cooperative Extension/Gwinnett SWCD Partner to Support Pollinator Conservation

Now more than ever, teachers, parents and citizen groups across the Southeast are requesting resources that make learning about pollinators fun. Becky Griffin, of University of Georgia (UGA) Extension’s Urban Ag Center, recently teamed with the Gwinnett County Soil and Water Conservation District’s Tixie Fowler to create the “Backyard Nature Hunt”, an activity designed for the whole family. The goal is to get outside and explore nature in a pollinator garden, yard or other natural area that’s close to home. Try to fill in the whole playcard – use acorns to mark “found” items, or check them off with a crayon. Griffin suggests exploring with magnifying glasses and binoculars, and using smartphones to take photos of what you find. Creative extensions could include writing a poem, a story or journaling the experience, and if students are too young to write, to draw or verbally describe their discoveries.  CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE BACKYARD NATURE HUNT PLAY CARD.

This guide contains all of the details on the census – how to count, how to identify insects that you will see, and how to submit the counts.  There is also a counting sheet that can be printed to take to the garden.   Feel free to print and copy this guide as many times as you need. Download the guide HERE.

Counting Sheet with Visuals:

One of the requests after last year’s count was a counting sheet with photos that students could take to the garden for counting.  Kendall Xides from Oak Grove Elementary’s STEM team created this one.  You can download it HERE.

This publication gives simple instruction on how to build nesting boxes for native bees, especially mason bees and leaf cutter bees.  It also has photos and details on the bees that use these type of nests. Download the publication HERE.

Lesson Plan and Activity Links

Science – entomology, biology, ecology, botany

Technology – use of social media, uploading census counts to the webpage

Engineering – creating bee homes, designing pollinator gardens

Art – insect and flower origami, pollinator haiku

Math – counting insects, comparing counts with other students, creating graphs of insects seen