Graduate students the world over have got to be feeling like slackers right now: A group of 8- to 10-year-old British schoolchildren have published a scientific paper in the peer-reviewed journal Biology Letters.
The paper, written entirely in the kid's voices, found that bees can learn to use spatial relationships between colors to figure out which flowers have nectar in them and which are dry, Wired Science reported. It's not a game-changing finding, but reviewers said the methods were sound, said University College London neuroscientist Beau Lotto, who helped the kids with the project, in an interview with Wired Science.
The paper and a supplemental video are available online. The paper itself features a figure done in colored pencil and a thanks to the local pub for offering free Cokes to the children while they wrote up the manuscript.
The study may be the only scientific paper to contain an emoticon. "We then put the tube with the bees in it into the school's fridge (and made bee pie :) )," the students wrote, explaining how they calmed the bees so they could dab them with paint to tell them apart.
Of course, Wired Science reports, the main goal of the project was to get kids interested in science. On that front, the study was a rousing success.
"Science is cool and fun because you get to do stuff that no one has ever done before," the chlidren wrote.