December 22, 2010

Children Publish Bumble Bee Findings In Scientific Journal

The Royal Society said on Wednesday that a group of British children between the ages 8 and 10 published their school project in the scientific journal Biology Letters.

The children from Blackawton primary school in the county of Devon investigated how bumblebees see colors and patterns using a series of experiments in a local churchyard.

The 25 children joined with a scientist who lives in the area to publish their findings in Biology Letters, which is a peer-reviewed journal published by the Royal Society.

"The field of insect color and pattern vision is generally poorly understood and the findings reported by the school children represent a genuine advance in the field," the Royal Society said in a statement.

Dave Strudwick, the headmaster of the school, said his pupils "devised, conducted and wrote up an experiment which resulted in genuinely novel findings, so they deserve to be published."

The children used patterns drawn with colored pencil to see whether the insects would go for sugar water and avoid salt water.

"We discovered that bumblebees can use a combination of color and spatial relationships in deciding which color of flower to forage from. We also discovered that science is cool and fun because you get to do stuff that no one has ever done before," they concluded in the paper.

Biology Letters editor Brian Charlesworth said the children's paper was a "world first in high quality scientific publishing."


On the Net: