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Milestone 1: Entry Event
Milestone 2: Planning and Design
Milestone 3: Prototype
*These items are included in the Beeswax Lip Balm Kit, which is available for purchase from agclassroomstore.com.
Milestone 4: Marketing Plan and Final Product Presentation
beeswax: a substance secreted from glands located on the underside of a worker bee's abdomen
byproduct: something that is made in addition to or that is left over from the production of the desired good
cell: a hexagonal wax chamber built from beeswax for brood rearing and storage of honey and pollen
hive: a home to a colony of bees
honeycomb: six-sided wax cells in a beehive
Mind Your Own Beeswax is a Project-Based Learning (PBL) plan. PBL is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging, and complex question, problem, or challenge.1 A quality PBL experience requires seven essential elements.
When people think about products from honey bees, they typically think about honey first. Honey is the only food produced by insects that is eaten by humans on a wide scale. A valuable byproduct of honey production is beeswax. Beeswax is used to make candles, artists' materials, lubricants, polishes, and cosmetics. It is a substance secreted from the glands located on the underside of a worker bee's abdomen. Bees require the protein from pollen and the carbohydrates from honey to create beeswax. It takes 6-10 pounds of honey to make one pound of wax, which is enough to construct 35,000 cells within a hive. The wax is used by the bees to form cells within the hive for honey storage and to protect eggs, larvae, and pupae through the process of metamorphosis. To form the beeswax into honeycombs, the bees chew and mold the wax into hexagon-shaped cells.
Honey bees use the nectar they gather from flowers to make honey, which is stored in the hive's cells. The bees cap off each cell with wax to prevent moisture loss. When beekeepers harvest honey, they collect the frames from the hive and use a hot knife to remove the wax cappings. The wax is taken to a capping tank and the frames are placed in an extractor to spin out the honey. Heat is applied to the wax cappings, causing the honey and wax to liquify and separate. The residual honey is then filtered out. Most commercially available beeswax comes from wax cappings.
At the beginning of the project, students are introduced to key content using a compelling situation that provides context and serves as a catalyst for an authentic problem or challenge. In Project-Based Learning (PBL), this authentic problem/challenge is referred to as an "Entry Event." Students use the Entry Event to initiate inquiry by reflecting on their prior knowledge of the key content, generating questions that they need to know the answers to in order to successfully complete the project or process that will solve the problem, and identifying what their next steps might be to answer their questions. These questions are used in an ongoing way throughout the project to track learning and guide inquiry.3 While students may have several questions, one driving question needs to be agreed upon that, when answered, should address the initial situation. Refer to Milestone 1 for Entry Event procedures.
In PBL, projects are organized into milestones. Each milestone represents a significant stage of the project. Click on each milestone below to access instructional procedures.
Milestone 1: Entry Event (approximately 1 day)
Milestone 2: Planning and Design (approximately 2 days)
Milestone 3: Prototype (approximately 3 days)
Milestone 4: Marketing Plan and Final Product Presentation (approximately 4 days)
Concept Elaboration and Evaluation:
As a final wrap-up, review and summarize the following key points:
We welcome your feedback! Please take a minute to tell us how to make this lesson better or to give us a few gold stars!
Melia Balls, Lynn Wallin, & Debra Spielmaker
National Center for Agricultural Literacy