The Beekeeper’s Companion Since 1861
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Youth Can Change the World One Honey bee at A Time

- May 1, 2017 - Joyce Miksa-Walters - (excerpt)

You might ask yourself “How can we fix the issues we have with the Honey bees?” The answer can be as simple as …. “Let’s ask today’s youth”. That is what FIRST® is doing. The mission of FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.

This season youth within FIRST® LEGO® League Jr. and FIRST® LEGO® League are learning about animals. This year’s theme of CREATURE CRAZESM, youth ages six to ten are engaged in learning about the honey bee and the wonders of the animal kingdom, while youth ages nine to fourteen (within the US) have the theme of ANIMAL ALLIESSM, where they delve a bit deeper to focus on human/animal interaction. Through exploratory research, hands-on construction, teamwork, imagination, and fun with LEGO elements, youth from all over the world are becoming today’s problem solvers.

FIRST LEGO League Jr. teams will choose an animal to learn about, such as the honeybee. They will research any challenges they face and think of solutions. They will use LEGO elements to create a moveable model and create a Poster to share their work and ideas with others.

FIRST LEGO League Jr. Team 8898 Gemini Jetstars 6 are a very enthusiastic team of 6 (1-1st grader, 4-2nd graders, and 1-3rd grader). The 6 team members have considered themselves junior entomologists with the task of learning about all the insects in our environment. Included in the article you will find a few pictures of their team at work and dressing in bee veils after a presentation from a local beekeeper/apiarist.

As FIRST LEGO League Jr. Team 8898 works hard learning about the honey bee, FIRST LEGO League has a challenge to conduct a real-world research project that’s all about improving the interaction between people and animals while building robots and having fun.

This season, I had the privilege of following Bacon Builders, a FIRST LEGO League team. While researching animal and human interactions for the FIRST LEGO League ANIMAL ALLIESSM Challenge, Bacon Builders 4-H FIRST LEGO League Team 8265 were disturbed to hear about bee colonies dying after pesticide spraying for Zika virus carrying mosquitoes. After researching existing solutions…