Pollen Detective
Pollen Detective

Margaret (Peg) Bolick, Ph.D., hunts for tiny grains of pollen in ancient bone beds. She also operates a rooftop lab that counts the number of pollen grains in the air. Her research on pollen helps scientists understand the important roles this plant particle plays in our lives, including the way it pesters us with allergies.

Your students will develop an understanding of:

• structure and function in living things
• reproduction and heredity
• collecting, interpreting, and displaying data
• the characteristics of living things and their life cycles
• fossils as data about ancient environments

Activities include:

• Pollination—learn about plant parts and play a role in pollination.
• In Search of Pollen—dissect a flower to find pollen.
• Medical Mysteries—analyze a pollen sample to find out what triggers allergies in some people.
• Flower Engineers—design and build flowers to attract pollinators.
• Pollen Tracks—dig for ancient pollen in artificial rocks.

Check out the supply list for each activity.



This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 9909496.
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and
do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation (NSF).