A group of school children aged between 8 and 10 years old have had their school science project accepted for publication in an internationally recognised peer-reviewed journal. The paper, which reports novel findings in how bumblebees perceive colour, is published in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters.
The field of vision of insects in generally poorly understood and the research undertaken by this group of school children represents a genuine advance in the field. The young scientists at Blackawton School in England investigated the way that bumblebees see colours and patterns and found evidence that bees learn and remember cues based on colours and patterns in complex surroundings.
Like every paper before it, Blackawton Bees, was peer reviewed but unusually it does not include any references due the inaccessibility of scientific literature to children.
“Our pupils devised, conducted and wrote up an experiment which resulted in genuinely novel findings, so they deserve to be published” said Dave Strudwick, Head of Blackawton School. “But even more importantly, they had the chance to work with an actual scientist and become one themselves – not just watching the scientist at work but actually participating in and creating the whole scientific process. Science shouldn’t be seen as something that is detached from the real world – it’s just a certain way of looking at things. This project represents a completely different way of working and learning that I hope will be taken up by other schools and in other subjects.”