Explore Oregon Bees is a bee-themed nutrition and garden environmental education activity packet developed at Oregon State University by the Oregon Bee Project and Food Hero. The content is best aligned for 4th graders. Objectives include 1) to increase children's willingness to taste vegetables and fruits, 2) broadening their knowledge of the role bees play in pollination to make healthy foods and 3) empowering kids to know ways to help bees make healthy foods.
In 2020, with many children learning from home, the Bee Project and Food Hero came together to make sure this project is useful for elementary school teachers in distance or hybrid learning settings and for parents and other caregivers teaching elementary school-age children at home. We especially aimed to connect it to existing projects: Food Hero recipes, the Grow This: Oregon Garden Challenge, and Growing Healthy Kids. The Explore Oregon Bees Virtual Toolkit brings the project alive digitally, including by providing an engaging interactive tour of each worksheet. We believe involving students in exploring gardens and taste testing is is an important addition to the virtual tools in meeting the project objectives.
We will continue to add more tools as OSU Food Hero educators test the project with kids throughout Oregon.