Looking for something fun and scientific to do with your kids this summer? Check out this free online project you can sign up for! Just go to http://www.greatsunflower.org/.
Here's an explanation about the program:
The Great Sunflower Project is a continent-wide event to focus attention on Bees. "It is vital that we understand how and where bees are declining in order to start to help them," says project leader Dr. Gretchen LeBuhn. "Having healthy pollinators is important for both natural systems and our food supply."
The Great Sunflower Project raises awareness about the world's most important pollinators -- our native bees -- and the recent threats to their survival. Participants help gain a better understanding of which bees are declining where -- and what habitats they need to survive. The project will continue year-round with activities such as gardening, sunflower and bee watching, art, and science. People of all ages and backgrounds can participate, independently or with a community organization including schools, public gardens, nature centers, museums, and parks.
Participants plant, grow and then watch sunflowers for 30 minutes or until five bees have visited. The information is then submitted by mail or online to scientists at San Francisco State University.
Everyone who signs up for this free project receives the Sunflower Kit which includes data forms for reporting the bee counts, a colorful guide to gardening for pollinators, educational materials about bees, and a packet of sunflower seeds to plant in pots and gardens. The Sunflower Kit may be downloaded online or participants may request to receive a kit by mail. We are now witnessing a dramatic die-off of honey bees, but we can still help the bees and connect with nature.
Now, my dilemma is, do I go ahead and sign up and take my chances that we might move and won't be able to complete the project? Or do I just skip it this year altogether? What would you do?