British eight-year-olds publish study in top science journal

Dec 22, 2010
A bumblebee collecting pollen of a cherry blossom. A group of British children aged between eight and 10 had their school project on bees published by the prestigious Royal Society in a world scientific first, the society said Wednesday.

A group of British children aged between eight and 10 had their school project on bees published by the prestigious Royal Society in a world scientific first, the society said Wednesday.

The from Blackawton primary school in the southwestern English county of Devon investigated how see colours and patterns using a series of experiments in a local churchyard.

The findings by the 25 children, drawn up with a scientist who lives in the area, have been published in Biology Letters, a peer-reviewed journal published by the Royal Society.

"The field of insect colour 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.

The headmaster of the school, Dave Strudwick, 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 coloured pencil to see whether the would go for sugar water and avoid salt water.

"We discovered that bumblebees can use a combination of colour and spatial relationships in deciding which colour 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.

editor Brian Charlesworth said their paper was a "world first in high quality scientific publishing."

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.


Explore further: Organic apple orchards benefit from green compost applications

More information: Paper online: rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.or… l.2010.1056.abstract

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

How do bumblebees get predators to buzz off?

May 26, 2010

Toxic or venomous animals, like bumblebees, are often brightly coloured to tell would-be predators to keep away. However scientists at Royal Holloway, University of London and Queen Mary, University of London ...

Bees see super color at super speed

Mar 17, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Bees see the world almost five times faster than humans, according to new research from scientists at Queen Mary, University of London.

FReD can help explain how a bee sees

Dec 10, 2010

Bees can see colours but they perceive the world differently to us, including variations in hue that we cannot ourselves distinguish.

Brighter pupils raise the bar for classmates

Dec 16, 2010

Primary-school pupils in England typically do better in key stage 2 English and maths tests when they are taught with more able children. But children who are close to the average of their classmates (at key ...

Pupils' performances deteriorate during summer holiday

Jan 27, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Researchers at the University of Twente, Netherlands, recently demonstrated that differences in pupils’ levels arise largely during holiday periods. They investigated pupils’ progress in the field of ...

Bees attracted by floral iridescence

Jan 09, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Plants and their pollinators are the focus of ground-breaking research by Dr Heather Whitney, recently appointed Lloyds Fellow in the School of Biological Sciences. Her latest work, carried ...

Recommended for you

LEDs shine in bedding plant production study

Jul 21, 2014

Growers of annual bedding plant seedlings or plugs work to produce compact, fully rooted transplants with a large stem diameter and high root dry mass—qualities that make seedlings less susceptible to damage during shipping ...

Nine emerging trends in pet food

Jul 21, 2014

Four out of five pet owners now consider their pet a member of the family, and consumers are shifting their priorities when it comes to purchasing food for their pets accordingly (Mintel, Pet Food, 2013).

Arm swinging reduces the metabolic cost of running

Jul 18, 2014

Have you ever tried running without swinging your arms? It's not easy. Each step jars and it feels like hard work: but is it? Christopher Arellano, from Brown University, USA, says, 'We know from the literature ...

User comments : 4

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

NotAsleep
5 / 5 (6) Dec 22, 2010
We also discovered that science is cool and fun because you get to do stuff that no one has ever done before

Definitely a finding worth publishing!
:)
DamienS
5 / 5 (3) Dec 22, 2010
This is terrific! If more schools encouraged this sort of thinking and participation in science for younger pupils, the world would ultimately be a better place. More do and less woo!
LordOfRuin
5 / 5 (1) Dec 23, 2010
Brilliant!
jmcanoy1860
not rated yet Dec 23, 2010
And neither the discovery institute or the creation research what have you can manage to publish anything.