We’ve always been interested in developing a kit, or something that families can do together as a their own mini scientific study.
Recently we produced a small piece of research for the Royal Society looking at how schools manage and value their interactions with parents.
We’ve always known how important family learning is and doing this research showed us that although there is robust evidence of the benefit families learning together in numeracy and literacy, there on the benefits of exploring science together.
From this we’ve had the idea to develop a family activity that involves plants as they are longitudinal (as long as you keep them alive) and accessible.
We presented this idea to the local Women’s Institute group who were fantastic at giving us their thoughts on the concept. The feedback was that there is an appetite for open-ended science activities that they can do with the children in their lives, but it needs to be something that they themselves are happy to get to grips with.
This led us to the Buzz Club run by the University of Sussex. Buzz Club run a series of citizen science projects that ask the public to capture field data about our pollinating insects. Together we’ve been looking at the possibility of asking families to pollinate strawberry plants with hand-made artificial bees to help show how pollination works and why it’s important. Hopefully this is an idea that we can create a real ‘buzz’ about next summer!