Description: This is an excellent phenomenon that can be used in many different units. According to researchers only young sunflowers will follow the Sun. These flowers are following a natural circadian rhythm to receive the most light for photosynthesis. However when they mature the flowers will mainly face east. The reason for this is fairly simple, bees like warm flowers, and the flowers facing the east are the warmest.
Description: The specific cause (or causes) of colony collapse disorder has not been found but the fact that a number of bees are dying is clear. This will have massive economic impacts since many of the foods we eat are pollinated by bees. Since humans are both impacting and being impacted by this problem it can be used as an engineering problem in need of a solution.
Web Resource: Colony Collapse Disorder - Wikipedia
Description: This phenomenon will show students the diversity of plants in their local habitats. If you collect seeds from various locations (e.g. meadow, forest, etc.) you will see differences in the plants that grow. The socks mimic the functioning of animals as they move seeds from one location to another. This planting could also be combined with an investigation of what plants need to survive. The amount of sunlight and water could be varied with each of the different socks.
Web Resource: How Stuff Works