Learning Professions with Bees (STEM Family Library Project)

Author: Carmen Diez Calzada

International concern to develop sustainability on Planet Earth challenges us to remember the importance of biodiversity.

Bees are the example of directly delivered benefits to biodiversity components (ecosystems, species and genes) that may contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

A family workshop was organised to discover the importance of bees, to experience real and virtual, and to learn professions with bees. It aims to bring science closer to citizens.

The workshop is a part of the STEM Family Library Project started in 2013. Family workshops are organized to spread the knowledge and interest in STEAM subjects within the society. Each workshop enables the participants to travel through a different everyday reality and build knowledge on a family level. At the end, the participating families must complete a challenge at home. Read more about the project here.

Key words: STEM Pofessions, Virtual Experiment, Health, Citizenship, Health studies.

Date: 7 March 2020

STE(A)M Family Library Project evokes interest in STEM trough family workshop and knowledge exchange. Thus, it corresponds to the need for creating a European space, oriented towards the demands of the job market in the 21st century. The methodology developed is Inquiry-Based Science Education.

Aim:

• Collaboration with the students, teachers, specialists, family members, companies, public institutions.
• The increase of the motivation and children’s’ interest in the STEM field through the discovery.
• The stimulation of the esprit of observation and investigation.
• The promotion of teamwork and family collaboration.
• Students’ ability to present their knowledge.

Objectives:

• Spreading the word about STEM in libraries to address the changes and the 21st century needs.
• Encouraging families to participate in the activities together, developing their interest in STEM subjects on the family level, trough real and virtual experimentation.
• Promoting STEM material and activities that the libraries offer to the visitors through workshops.

Activities:

• Meeting the beekeeper and honey tasting.
• Collecting data on the life of bees to understand the dimension of their honey-making activity.
• Real and virtual experimentation.
• STE(A)M professions related to bees activity.

Resources:

• Scientix projects: GoLab, STEM4MATH
• 2020 Annual Theme – Climate Change and Environmental Challenges

Topic:

• The event covers a variety of topics, such as health; sciences; biodiversity; structures; programming, occupations and professions; the contributions of biodiversity to the sustainability on Planet Earth.

Materials used:

Real experimentation:

Straw hats
– Tulle
Different brands of honey
15mL of lip balm
– Honey (1 dessert spoon)
– Propolis (at discretion)
– Soy lecithin (emulsifier, the content of 4 pearls of 740mg)
– Filante Vaseline (1 soup spoon) heated in microwave or water bath.
–  It can be completed with flavouring and aroma.

Virtual Experimentation:

Virtual Lab (ILS). The material is also accesible here

Structures:

Paper rolls of water
Scotch tape

Workshop development:

Children from 8 to 12 years old and adults (parents and guardians) participate in the workshop of DIBA Library – Ernest Lluch, Vilassar de Mar, Spain.

Activity 1: Honey tasting brings you closer to discovering plant species and the bee activity.

Activity 2: Real experimentation.
The preparation of the lip balm brings together the professionals of Health Sciences, Applied Sciences and Scientific Research. The experiment is held using daily ingredients (in the indicated proportions – packages of 15mL). The main goal is to homogenize the aqueous (A) and oily (O) components. It is achieved using soy lecithin.

Activity 3: Virtual Experimentation.
Working on GoLab ILS living in connection with askabiologist.asu.edu laboratory, building hypotheses and discussing results. Students questions are recorded and answered later.

The survival of a variety of the species depends on the bees. Its importance lies in the balance of the ecosystem, the maintenance of biodiversity and the production of food. Biodiversity of the Earth is in danger. The Earth and the world’s biodiversity are depending on bees. These insects are more necessary than ever.

How do bees contribute to biodiversity and agriculture? The reproduction of many botanical species depends directly on these pollinators. Bees use pollen and nectar from flowers to feed or to produce honey, so while they feed and collect pollen from plant stamens, they transfer seeds. This type of relationship is a clear example of symbiotic dependency.

One of the European Scientix Community Projects, GoLab makes it easy to work with virtual laboratories. It is done through online activities. We could accompany the bees in the search for flowers and we know the details of their community activity in the honeycomb. We made this imaginary journey in the stage Experience living like bees within the space of inquiry  “Descubrimos oficios con las abejas”. We created a path to the hive with Scratch.

We learn the professions related to the bees here.

Activity 4: Applying hive tessellation structures on life structures.

Activity 5: A STE(A)M Congress. Each student with their accompanying parent presented the contributions to society made by professionals working with bees.

Finishing activity which included an open challenge, giving students the opportunity to apply gained knowledge in the real life and to enjoy STEM at home.

Assessment:

• Discover plant species in honey. Naturalist skills.
• Preparing a lip balm following safety measures. Life skills.
• To propose and carry out load tests on the built structures. Creativity skills. Cultural skills.
• To carry out professional debate taking the place of different professionals. Communication skills.
• To complete the stages of the scientific method with a special emphasis on asking questions and investigating research. Scientific skills.
• Programming and designing a path to follow. ICT skills.
• To prepare a draft commitment “help strengthen bio-diversity with bees”. Social skills.

Visit the workshop report here.

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mcarmen

Pedagogical assessment. Training. Coaching. Coordination. Scientific expert teacher professor - Conferences, workshops, classes, courses, articles. - Planning, Coordination and Assessment of professional organization. - Pilot teacher of teachers' Communities of practices in Projects International. - Textbooks, education material, school guidance, Researcher in the University of Barcelona in health topics. - Management practices in company. Counselling marketing and publishing production. Negotiating. - Science, math and ICT teacher in Primary, Secondary and Professional School. Implement the innovative technologies, active methodologies, cognitive processes, classroom strategies. Leadership in education, school projects. - Scientific and scholarly publishing

2 thoughts on “Learning Professions with Bees (STEM Family Library Project)”

  1. A highly interesting research project related to biodiversity touching the subject of BEES which children in that age must find very motivating !

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