Busy Bee-Bots go recycling

Helen Young
Helen Young • 23 May 2022
Busy-Bee Bots ready to go!

Are you looking for a fun activity aimed at nursery children which reinforces the concept of recycling rubbish? Are you also looking to introduce your pupils to the basic concept of programming and debugging an educational robot? 

Such an activity is easy to implement in an early year setting, especially with the use of simple educational robots like the Bee-Bots (programmable floor robots suitable for early years and lower primary).  

The “Busy Bee-Bots go recycling” activity teaches the children how to learn the main functions of an educational robot (Bee-Bot). Once familiar with the directional commands the children attach a cup on their Bee-Bot and fill it with some rubbish to be recycled. The Bee-Bot is then ready to get to work! The children determine their destination and enter the commands to move the Bee-Bot to arrive at the specific recycling stations on the grid (mat with squares). 

For me, as a nursery teacher, the “Busy Bee-Bot" activity not only helped me understand how much the children had understood about recycling, but it also enabled me to see how well the children worked together in small groups. I mixed the groups in terms of age, language and ability and I was really encouraged to see how cooperative and engaged the children were. They repeatedly asked to redo the activity!  

In my class, with so many children who are learning English, the Bee-Bots provide a remarkably effective way to encourage language skills simply because the focus is on their ‘Busy Bee-Bot’ and not on the child. 

Would you like to know more about this activity? Please read the detailed learning scenario, and do not hesitate to share your own experiences of using educational robots in teaching sustainability to young children. This learning scenario contains references to the competences defined in the European sustainability competence framework (GreenComp). 

Also, the following video demonstrates the setting and the interactions within the group.

Comments (1)

François Jourde
François Jourde

We could think of variations on this Bee-Bots learning scenario. We could add other learning objectives and activities. For example, on reducing waste emissions:
- Pupils could try to overload the Bee-Bots with waste and find a solution to reduce this load (i.e. how to reduce waste)?
- Could the pupils visualise the waste piling up on the carpet at each recycling station, to visualise the overproduction?
Could the pupils add Bee-Bots moving the waste from the stations (recycling is not magic: the waste has to be processed)?

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