Monday, December 27, 2010

Dec. 27th post, part 3: Kids in England have science experiment published in prestigious journal

I thought this article pertained to protective factors, as it demonstrates the remarkable achievements children are capable of if they apply themselves.

"Study by 8-year-olds published in prestigious science journal," written by Zachary Roth and published on Yahoo! News last Wednesday (Dec. 22) at 12:23 p.m. ET, covers the recent achievement of a group of 8- to 10-year-old boys in Devon, England, who did a study on the ability of bumblebees to "see [and learn from] colors and patterns."

Experts from the Royal Society -- which, according to Roth, "is more than 300 years old and includes some of the world's most eminent scientists" -- lauded the boys' discovery of bees' perceptual and intuitive ability as "a genuine advance" (qouted in Roth's article).

I took a look at the study -- which is called "Blackawton bees," was written by
P. S. Blackawton, S. Airzee, A. Allen, S. Baker, A. Berrow, C. Blair, M. Churchill, J. Coles, R. F.-J. Cumming, L. Fraquelli, C. Hackford, A. Hinton Mellor, M. Hutchcroft, B. Ireland, D. Jewsbury, A. Littlejohns, G. M. Littlejohns, M. Lotto, J. McKeown, A. O'Toole, H. Richards, L. Robbins-Davey, S. Roblyn, H. Rodwell-Lynn, D. Schenck, J. Springer, A. Wishy, T. Rodwell-Lynn, D. Strudwick and R.B. Lotto, and was published in Biology Letters on Dec 22, 2010 -- includes the commentary of professional scientists. I particularly like the fact that they drew attention to the creative and playful elements of true scientific exploration, and of education in general.

As for the boys, they did a great job with this very complex study. I drew back a bit from their statement that the intelligence of non-human animals can be the same as ours, as I think this is going too far. But still, their study is interesting for the purpose of exploring the particular intelligence of animals, as well as the similarities between human and animal intelligence.

Click here to read Roth's article.

Click here to go right to the study itself!

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