The goals and objective of BeeWise are to create a robust beekeeping program, that integrates quality STEM education with Maker Ed, IoT and Citizen Science. The BeeWise program focuses on “learning by doing” a 4-H approach for hands-on learning, that will enhance 21st Century Agricultural Education for youth and adults, while expanding collaboration between Extension Professionals.
The BeeWise program supports agricultural education for the general public and youth and adult 4-H volunteers at Colorado State University Extension (CSU-E) in Pueblo County. The program focuses on in-depth Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) through project based arts practice which engages Maker Ed, Internet of Things (IoT) and Citizen Science.
Participants engage in hands-on activities centered around honey bee anatomy, biology, habitat, and hive maintenance. Participants dissect bees and flowers, investigate Varroa Mite infestations, document nectar flows and participate in honey taste tests.
BeeWise engages the Maker Movement by engaging students in making activities focused around wax crafts, pollinator maker projects and technology. Makerspaces and Maker Culture in general was suggested by the Horizons Report for Cooperative Extension to be implemented within one year or less. Beekeeping engages the Maker movement by integrating project-based arts like candle, lip balm and soap making into the beekeeping curriculum. Youth also engage the maker movement when they make humming bird feeders, native bee habitats, and butterfly houses from recycled and resourced items.
The development of an advanced kit using sensors, and monitoring systems implemented into the beekeeping program also engages Making as students will be assisting in the development of monitoring systems using sensors and instruments for data collection.
The BeeWise program is multi-disciplinary integrating traditional agricultural education in beekeeping with Making, Citizen Science and IoT in an effort to engage STEM and 21st Century learning.