STEM Students Learn About Pollinators at Iowa State Fair

Des Moines, Iowa – August 27, 2015– Super Sunday at the Iowa State Fair played host to STEM activities on the grand concourse and one of those activities had students learning about pollinators like bees and butterflies.

More than 550 students and parents were educated about pollinators at the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation (IALF) display. They answered trivia questions and completed a simple activity mimicking bees transferring pollen from flower to flower. Students learned about the science that is helping protect and manage bee populations. They learned about pollinator math -- that bees will visit up to two million flowers to produce a pound of honey. Students even heard about technology and the development of robotic bees that could help supplement pollinator populations and artificially pollinate crops.

“While honey bee populations in the U.S. are at a healthy level, this activity still highlights the importance of pollinators in agriculture especially in fruit and vegetable production,” said Will Fett executive director of IALF. “Food producers and farmers can help manage pollinator populations through good science.”

In addition to the student activity, IALF distributed more than 2,500 packets of seeds to passersby. The seeds were a mix of wildflowers that can help attract pollinators like bees, butterflies, other insects, and hummingbirds. Flowers like milkweed are an essential food source for Monarch butterflies. The seed packets included other flowers like zinnias, coneflowers, and sunflowers. Visitors were encouraged to plant the seeds in their gardens or in wild spaces to help boost pollinator populations.

STEM Day at the Iowa State Fair was organized by the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council and included 24 different exhibitors featuring all four disciplines of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). The exhibits displayed from 9am to 7pm on Sunday, August 23 at the Iowa State Fair. The Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation is one of nine programs to have earned the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council Seal of Approval.

For more information about this activity or other education activities please contact the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation at You can also receive a packet of wildflower seeds upon request.

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About the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation

IALF serves as a central resource for educators and volunteers who want to teach Iowa’s students about agriculture. The mission is to educate Iowans, with a focus on youth, regarding the breadth and global significance of agriculture. Iowa is a leading producer of agricultural products that are essential to feed a growing world population, estimated to reach more than 9 billion by 2050. IALF believes it is important for all Iowans to understand the essential role agriculture has in their lives. IALF will support existing agriculture education efforts such as FFA, 4-H and Ag in the Classroom. IALF was created through a joint effort of agricultural stakeholders, including the Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa Soybean Association, Silos and Smokestacks Foundation, DuPont Pioneer, GROWMARK, and the Iowa Beef Industry Council. For more information visit IALF online at, on Facebook, and Twitter.


Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation


Will Fett, Executive Director
Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation

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