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lid and peaked inside. Seeing what he expected, he quickly shut the lid, looked around
and smiled. The barrel was heavy, but he managed to drag it over and roll it sideways
into his hatchback. Today, the Prophet would be proud.
September 28, 2012. Kirkwood Elementary School, Cincinnati, Ohio
Eleven year-old Justin Idris was excited about his Science Fair Project. His project
was about bees. He had stayed up until midnight with his mom the night before making
the hive out of paper maché. It looked so real! The pieces of honeycomb were expertly
glued to the side. All the parts of the bee--head, thorax, and abdomen--were labeled. His
notes of his interview with the beekeeper were pasted into his yellow and black Project
Notebook. And, in colored yellow and black marker, he had drawn on the side of the
project boards numerous ―Fun Bee Facts‖, including:
--the average colony has 45,000 to 70,000 bees
--90% of the food consumed by humans depends on the pollination of honeybees
--the honeybee eats seven pounds of honey to produce 1 pound of wax
--the flight speed of a honeybee is 9 miles per hour
--the bee makes as many as 24 trips a day when collecting nectar from flowers
--50% to 80% of flying bees are collecting nectar.
Amy Idris, Justin‘s mother, was a single mom and a police officer for the Cincinnati
Police Department. As usual, she was running late. She checked her makeup in the
rearview mirror, and, as she did so, looked at her small son in the back seat. He had black
glasses much too big for his head. She had pleaded with him to get less conspicuous
eyewear, but Justin really liked the black glasses. He said the glasses made him feel
smart. The Science Fair project was lying on the passenger seat of their tan Chevy
minivan. She could see that Justin was looking at the seat in front of him nervously,
obviously concerned that the bee project would suffer some mishap on the way to school.
―Don‘t worry about your project, sweetie. I am taking good care of it up here.‖
Kirkwood Elementary had two separate entrances. The first entrance was used by
parents dropping off children in the morning. The second entrance was used by the bus
drivers. Occasionally, parents racing to get to work on time would cheat and go in the bus
driveway so as to avoid the traffic in the other lane. Today, the line in the first driveway
was packed with minivans and SUVs, so Karen passed it and cheated her van into the bus
―Mom, you‘re not supposed to go that way,‖ complained Justin.
―I know, but if we wait behind all those cars, we are not going to get your bee project
in by the deadline. They said it has to be in the gym by 8 o‘clock.‖
Justin‘s mother glided the minivan around one bus and in front of the other, and then
put on her flashers.
―OK, quick, sweetie. Jump out and get your project. I am holding up traffic.‖
Justin quickly unbuckled, opened the sliding side door, and from the outside, opened
the passenger door in front. He gingerly extricated the tall science fair project and closed
the door with his foot.
―Bye, honey! I know your project will do great!‖
―Thanks, Mom! Love you!‖