In 2019, the Bee Awareness Society completed a project to create an education program in local schools. Here’s a summary of the project:
Summary of Achievements:
We successfully implemented and completed our full curriculum for the Bee Awareness Full Day Education Program to all three schools.
The children were educated through stories, games, outdoor activities, live observation bee hive as well as crafts and activities that provided them with take home actions that they could implement immediately to support honey bees and pollinators. These included seed bombs, mason bee hives and homemade lip balm, with Bee Awareness labels to remind them of the their lessons.
Many of the children could make connections between pollinators and their impacts on humans as well as other mammals and the larger ecosystem by completion of the Spring session. Teachers reported positively at all three schools, some even conveying stories of how the lessons had positively impacted their class and individual children.
Lesson Learned and Challenges:
We learned how valuable it is to provide hands on activities and a kinaesthetic learning in our programs as well as entertaining the children through educational storytelling. These methods of delivery really enhanced the engagement of the students and increased retention, in my opinion. The Live Observation Bee Hive is a powerful tool in inspiring the children to take more active notice of their local outdoor environment and pollinators. They are able to create relationships and attachment with these colonies and therefore care more about what happens to them.
The biggest challenges we faced related to grant deadline timing, as this early in the Spring there are not yet active pollinators outside for the children to observe, and some of the bees did not live through the winter and it was too early in the season to replace the bees in time for the sessions. We managed to navigate these challenges well, however, as there were early signs of Spring for the children to find outside, like new Dandelions and Pussy Willows, which are important early forage foods for bees. We also talked about what happened in their hives and how the fact that they did not survive is an indicator of just how much bees need our help right now.
Learn more: Bee Awareness Society