1. Headline
  1. Headline
By
updated 12/22/2010 12:22:22 PM ET 2010-12-22T17:22:22

It came with wobbly writing and hand-drawn diagrams, but an elementary school science project has made it into a peer-reviewed journal from Britain's prestigious Royal Society.

  1. More from TODAY.com
    1. Jenna Bush Hager: 5 things I've learned from my Gampy

      My grandfather has really always astonished me. On this milestone — his 90th birthday — I thought about how much I have le...

    2. George H.W. Bush talks to TODAY about turning 90
    3. GPS monitoring fail: Some felons continue to prey despite bracelets
    4. Conspiracy theories grow around MH17
    5. Why 7 hours of sleep a night may be better than 8

Biology Letters published a report Wednesday conducted and written by a group of 8- to 10-year-olds from an English elementary school investigating the way bumblebees see colors and patterns. The scientific organization — which is more than three centuries old and includes some of the world's most eminent scientists — said the children reported findings that were a "genuine advance" in the field of insect color and pattern vision.

Working with a neuroscientist from University College London, the children carefully documented their methodology and discussed the data they collected.

The group trained bees to go to targets of different colors by giving them a sugar reward, and reported that the insects are able to learn and remember cues based on color and pattern.

The study successfully went through peer review — although its presentation was slightly unconventional.

"Scientists do experiments on monkeys, because they are similar to man, but bees could actually be close to man too," the introduction read. The report was peppered with other amusing phrasing and diagrams drawn in colored pencil.

Scientists who commented on the kids' report in the journal say although the experiments were modest and lacked statistical analyses, they were cleverly and correctly designed and hold their own compared to those conducted by highly trained specialists.

"The experimenters have asked a scientific question and answered it well," neuroscientists Laurence Maloney and Natalie Hempel wrote in commentary alongside the children's report.

Beau Lotto, the scientist who coordinated the study, said she hoped the project could inspire people to approach science in a way that's creative and fun.

"We like bees. Science is cool and fun because you get to do stuff that no one has ever done before," the children concluded.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

More on TODAY.com

  1. TODAY

    Why 7 hours of sleep a night may be better than 8

    7/23/2014 11:34:13 AM +00:00 2014-07-23T11:34:13
Breaking news
  1. Report: Passenger jet crashes in Taiwan 

    A plane has crashed in Taiwan killing 51 people and injuring seven, according to local reports. The TransAir flight was traveling from Kaohsiung to Makung during stormy weather in the wake of Typhoon Matmo, local media reported.

    7/23/2014 1:56:52 PM +00:00 2014-07-23T13:56:52
  1. Jenna Bush Hager: 5 things I've learned from my Gampy

    On this milestone — his 90th birthday — I thought about how much I’ve learned from him.

    7/23/2014 10:43:31 AM +00:00 2014-07-23T10:43:31
  2. video George H.W. Bush talks to TODAY about turning 90

    video Check out the extended, full-length interview that President George H.W. Bush gave to his granddaughter, TODAY correspondent Jenna Bush Hager, around his 90th birthday parachute jump.

    7/3/2014 8:13:54 PM +00:00 2014-07-03T20:13:54
  3. video Barbara Bush to son: Your dad was the best president

    video TODAY correspondent Jenna Bush Hager talks with her grandmother, first lady Barbara Bush, and her father, President George W. Bush, about their picks for history’s best president and first lady.

    7/22/2014 8:17:09 PM +00:00 2014-07-22T20:17:09
  4. Courtesy of Jenna Bush Hager
  1. GPS monitoring fail: Some felons continue to prey despite bracelets

    When high-risk criminals leave prison, many must wear ankle bracelets with GPS monitoring. But an NBC News investigation uncovered cases of parole officers asleep at the switch, allowing violent offenders to strike again. Jeff Rossen reports.

    7/23/2014 12:06:07 PM +00:00 2014-07-23T12:06:07