Honeybees were selected as a topic because they are familiar to young children and also represent a number of complex systems-related concepts. Most relevant to the current study is the way that honeybees communicate the location of flower nectar using a form of dance. Students begin with misconceptions such as the belief that the bees search for nectar individually without informing the other bees, or that there is some form of central organization in the hive where the Queen is aware of the nectar locations and directs the forager bees to them. This is what Wilensky and Resnick refer to as a “centralized mindset.” The goal of the BeeSim activities was to help students to recognize both the difficulty of finding nectar and the value of communicating nectar sources to other bees.
BeeSim Full Guide
The BeeSim Full Guide provides facilitators with background information on honeybees, technical information on the bee puppets and the different aspects of BeeSim Simulation software. In addition, a day-by-day guide makes it easy to implement BeeSim in the classroom. Appendices contain handouts and other materials to extend learning in the classroom when BeeSim is done. My Bee Guide is a student notebook, designed to bring scientific note taking into the project.
The addition of BeeSim Flashcards
provides facilitators with a means of reviewing important systems thinking
, insect biology, and honeybee lifecycle information. And the Honeybee Sorting Badges
make creating small groups, hives, and teams easy while ensuring that every student gets called on in a fair manner. Look for references to both these supplements within the facilitator guides, below.
The BeeSim Board Game
BeeSim Jigsaw Puzzles
The BeeSim Board Game
is introduced on Day 2 of the BeeSim curriculum, and played whenever there is time throughout the unit. This game gives students one more way to learn how the honeybee system works, and how individual bees work together for the success of the hive. The game board mat can be projected or printed in a large-sized version for whole-class play or in smaller boards for small groups. See assembly instructions in this file for more information. And the BeeSim Jigsaw Puzzles
are offered to keep students occupied during the time they spend in the hives waiting for their turn in BeeSim: Play
BioSim is a research project designed to compare different ways of teaching complex science concepts to very young children. For that reason, in each of our iterations, we implement three conditions to compare in our research. The guides above reflect the differences in those conditions. In the BeeSim: Integrated condition the curriculum combines both first-person (role-playing with electronic bee puppets) and third-person (playing with computer simulations) activities. In BeeSim: Play the focus is solely on the first-person view, role-playing with puppets only, while in BeeSim: Simulation, we use only the third-person activities with the computer software.
If students have trouble finding the dancing bee in the video, project this animation and then show the video again.