I wrote a couple of posts ago about an experiment that I thought youngsters might like – it started out as whether bees prefer certain colours. Of course we beekeepers know they do, but allowing children to discover the fact is a different thing altogether. And indeed, understanding more about how the bee ‘sees’ the plants and how the veins act as little pointers takes this to a new level of fascination. But we need to start more simply. In that first stage my experiment seemed an out and out failure. I even added a few drops of lemon oil. And I abandoned the project, leaving it outside overnight.
The next day a friend called and we sat at the table with the experiment. The bees had shown a little interest the day before after the initial lemon oil – now the thing was almost teeming with bees. What had changed? We’d had some dew in the morning. And perhaps there had been time for some of the pioneering bees from the day before to do a waggle dance in front of their fellows?
It was all a little vague. If teachers may want to use something similar then it needs to be structured for some sort of success. Disappointment is a killer in the classroom just as excitement can light little fires that shine out from a child’s eyes. Time to replicate and monitor more effectively. 24 hours ago more lemon oil was employed and an observation regime started.