This is what Theoni Pappas writes on page 123 of her Magic of Mathematics:
"Communication is yet another area of interest. Worker bees returning to the hive from a scouting expedition communicate the direction of the food source they found by transmitting the codes in the form of a 'dance.'"
Hey, that sorts of gives new meaning to the phrase "Angle Dance" (song from January 10th). And according to Pappas, honeybees instinctively know that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. She states that this is the source of the word "beeline."
The whole purpose of this lesson is to demonstrate the connection between math and nature. I've written much about science lately. It's easy to find links between math and physical science, but it's trickier to connect math to life science. Honeybee geometry is one such link.
Last night I watched Genius, but my thoughts about science remain with the sixth graders and their heat transfer projects. Today, one group creates a miniature greenhouse and wants to burn incense for the heat source. But this is unsafe and so they won't be able to do it in the final presentation.
In case you're curious about the other grades, today I showed seventh and eighth grade science classes an episode of Cosmos with Neil DeGrasse Tyson. I watched those episodes when they first aired, but that was just barely before I started this blog, and so I never mentioned it. Today the students watched Episode 3, "When Knowledge Conquered Fear." Isaac Newton and Nicolaus Copernicus are two of the scientists mentioned in this episode.
This is what I wrote last year about today's lesson. Admittedly it wasn't much:
I post my originally planned lesson for Lesson 14-6, which contains many of those properties of vector addition from the Common Core Standards that I mentioned yesterday.