Bethel Park High School students in Alex Winschel’s Honors Biology Class and Sean O’Brien’s Environmental Biology Class won four awards in the Research Experience For Teachers Design Team Competition, sponsored by the Human Engineering Research Laboratories and the Rehabilitation Science and Technology Department of the University of Pittsburgh and held in conjunction with the National Science Foundation.
Honors Biology sophomore Evan Yoder and freshmen Ashton Maslanka, Camden Wade and Calvin Walsh earned a First Place Award in the Science and Math Category and Second Place in the Best Project Category.
Environmental Biology senior Brian Pauley and juniors Maggie Browning and Aidan Tarr earned Third Place and won the Best Design Award.
Both groups of students submitted entries that were designed to help honey bees.
The students were concerned about the declining honey bee population, so they focused their efforts on developing ways for the bees to conserve more energy and have more time to pollenate flowers and produce more honey.
The students designed a honeycomb on Tinkercad and used the 3D printer in their classroom to print out their designs. Bethel Park High School Biology Teacher Alex Winschel took the honeycombs and inserted them into the bee hive he has at his home, containing 40,000 bees.
In addition to the honeycomb creation, the students also did research and created a poster about the honeybees.
Mr. Winschel and Mr. O’Brien participated in a Research Experience for Teachers Class last summer at the University of Pittsburgh, and encouraged their students to enter this contest that was offered in conjunction with the class.