Students learn about importance of bees through unique board game
Fifteen fourth grade beekeepers recently worked hard to transform various habitats during the beta testing of the "Visualize World Bees" game at the Project Learn School in Mt. Airy.
By answering questions when they landed on green spaces on the board, the students were able to exercise their understanding of bees, their life cycle and the plant world. In exchange for answering the questions correctly, they were given various game tiles that enabled them to convert the entire circular board, which represented the world, into healthy habitats for the bees.
The object of the game is for everyone to have a tile stating "1 Billion," which means that 1 billion people would have been fed through the work of the bees.
Anaiis Salles, creator of the game and beekeeper, said the game educates players about the decline in habitat for bees.
"I created this game so that when my grandchildren are young adults in 2035, bees have not gone extinct and they have enough food to eat," said Salles last Tuesday. "If we don't educate each other now and begin to understand what we need to do to act as citizens and consumers, we will lose our honey bees."
Salles continued by saying that losing honey bees means being in jeopardy of not having global food security because they are responsible for approximately two thirds of everything humans eat.
The game's creation was funded through a $5,000 grant from Children Can Shape the Future. The grant was specifically aimed at supporting the creation and development of an educational board game about the importance of honey bee pollinators.
Lisa Pack, a math and literacy teacher at Project Learn, said the best thing about the game is that it encourages cooperative learning, a hallmark of the Project Learn School community.
"This is not a game that one person wins, it's a game where everybody has to win for the game to be won," said Pack. "At project learn, that is one of things that we hold high is that the kids work together to learn, research, further their education so it fits right into our philosophy."
During NewsWorks' visit, Pack assisted one of two groups as they worked their way through the game. She said it reinforced her student's understanding of past lessons, such as one on foraging, and taught them new information, such as the fact that honey is good for up to 1,000 years.
Pack is optimistic that the game will give herr students a newfound respect for pollinators and the work that they do that benefit humans.
The first official "Visualize World Bees" game launch will be held at Awbury Arboretum on December 6 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. For more information, go to visualizeworldbees.com
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