Do you have a class or know a group of young engineers who would like to program a micro:bit? Do you want to also demonstrate the importance of bees in our world? Then you're in the right place!
Bees, pollen, and flowers are essential for pollination, a process vital for the reproduction of many plant species. Bees act as efficient pollinators by flying around, finding flowers, and transferring pollen between them. Pollen is used by plants for fertilization and seed production. This interdependence between bees and plants supports biodiversity, ecosystem health, and human food production.
In this project, you will be programming micro:bits using different code to represent three types of players: Bees, Pollen, and Flowers.
- Pollen - This is a flower with pollen available to be collected.
- Flowers - These are flowers waiting to receive pollen.
- Bees - These are the bees that find pollen and pollinate the flowers.
How to Play the Game
The game is similar to Hide & Seek. At the start of the game, every player presses the 'A' button on their micro:bit. This starts a 30 second timer on the Bee's micro:bit. During this time, all of the Pollen and Flower players hide in the designated play area.
After the countdown, the Bee player buzzes around to find the Pollen and the Flower players. The Flowers will not register on the Bee player's micro:bit, until the Bee has found a Pollen player. However, the Bee should try to remember where all of the Flowers are. When the Bee finds a Pollen player, the Bee's micro:bit display will show that it has collected a pollen particle.
Once pollen is collected, it's time to find the Flowers! When the Bee player finds a Flower player, pollen can be transferred by bringing their micro:bits together. The count on the Bee's micro:bit will increase with each Flower found, and the Flower's micro:bit will make a celebratory "found" noise with the flower graphic changing.
Once all the flowers have been pollinated, the micro:bits can be swapped (or re-programmed) so the players can play again. To restart the game, press the reset button on the rear of the micro:bit or just press the 'A' button to restart the count down.
What Hardware Do You Need?
We recommend getting a Classroom or Club pack - for example, the micro:bit Club Pack of 10 contains:
- 10x micro:bit V2 Boards,
- 10x USB Cables,
- 10x Battery Holders,
- 20x Batteries
Another item that might be useful is either the cardboard case supplied in the micro:bit Classroom kit or Club bundle, or a small square of Velcro to attach the battery box and micro:bit together. Velcro Pack
In order to program the micro:bits, you will also need a computer that is connected to the Internet and has a USB port.
How to Create the Code
This project uses the micro:bit radio features to allow multiple micro:bits to communicate with each other. If you're new to micro:bit and Makecode programming, you might want to start out with some simpler projects. Check out some more basic tutorials at https://makecode.microbit.org/tutorials
This guide shows teachers, group leaders or parents how to make the three different micro:bit programs in Makecode. Coding can be incorporated into a group activity. For less advanced pupils, another option is to preprogram he micro:bits in advance; however, it will still be helpful to walk through the code so the participants can understand how it works.
You need at least three micro:bits to play: a Bee, Pollen and Flower. If you have a micro:bit Club Pack of 10 , a good distribution might be 1 Bee, 1 Pollen, and 8 Flowers (or 2 Bees, 2 Pollens, and 8 Flowers). There should be fewer Bees than Flowers; this lets Bees have an easier time finding as many Flowers as possible. More than one Bee can retrieve pollen from a Pollen player.
If there are even more players in the game, there should always be fewer Bees than Flowers, so that all the Bees have a chance of finding Pollen and Flowers. Additionally, there should be approximately the same number of Pollen players and Bee players.
In terms of programming difficulty, Pollen is the easiest, followed by Flowers, and then Bees (most complex).