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Roamer Becomes a Bee!

Roamer Bee, Liss Junior School Bee Project

No, Roamer is not going to become a BeeBot, but it is going become part of Liss Junior School’s Bee Project. Earlier this year Liss school was one of 12 finalists selected from 300 entries into the Guardian’s “School We’d Like” competition. Yesterday Roamer designer, Dave Catlin visited the school to discuss a project using Roamer Sensors with head teacher Andrew Burford. Andrew started to talk about the Liss bee project…

The school had decided to take part in The Guardian Teacher Network Zurich Competition. The idea was simple: Come up with an idea that could change your school for the better and you could win £5,000 to make it happen. Liss School organised an internal Dragon Den type process. The children worked in groups researched and presented their ideas complete with budget. The idea for keeping bees and making honey won. Year 6 pupil Imogen Wright said: “It’s hard looking after bees – they need a water source and land with flowers but we’ve done our research.” Although the school did not win the final, news of it impressed the local community so much that people spontaneously donated the funds to enable the project to go ahead. In the 1990s we did a fantastic insect project in Harrow Schools. One group of children had made Roamer into a bee complete with flapping wings. The bee project sounded a great.

Head teacher Andrew Burford had already purchased Roamer and was interested in using its sensor capability.  Dave Catlin said, “We believe it is important to develop Roamer’s capabilities based on real situations with input from teachers and children. The opposite is normally the case, schools get a technology designed for other reasons, then everyone tries find ways of using it in the classroom”. As discussions about the technology and ideas progressed it gradually dawned on Andrew that Roamer with or without sensors had a great potential to enrich the Bee Project. The Beehives had just arrived. What perfect timing.

The story got more interesting when Andrew explained Liss was twinned with Kafuro school in Uganda. Which is a community Project bringing together the individuals, schools, communities and the staff of the Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda and the Queen Elizabeth Country Park in Hampshire, England. Unbeknown to Liss Kafuro also had a bee project going. The elephants had a habit of breaking through the park fences and devastating the crops. Bees solved the problem. When elephants came near the fence the bees would swarm near their eyes. This was enough to keep the elephants away. That is until they worked out if they went in as a herd, some of them would get stung, but others would get through.

Liss Junior School, Karfu School, Bee Project, Roamer as a Bee


Who could resist a story like that? We decided to donate some Roamers to Kafuro. We loved the way Andrew has introduced the idea to them: A question for the children at Kafuro Primary School

Other Links:

Liss School

Kafuro Liss Blog

Queen Elizabeth Twinning Project

School We’d Like Finalists

TheGuardian Teacher Network School We’d Like Finals.

TheGuardian Teacher Network, Liss School Zurich School Competition

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