Comparing Apples to Oranges – bESTology Week 6

Published by rrfenton on

Comparing Apples to Oranges – bESTology Week 6



Money does not grow on trees, or does it? Oranges, apples, coconuts, bananas and walnuts are just a few of America’s tree cash crops. Our nation’s economy relies heavily on the fruit and nut industries, thus money does grow on trees.

From the apple and orange growers to the packers, graders, juicers, transporters and grocers, the economic impact is tremendous. Millions of American’s careers rely on the agriculture industry, in particular the citrus industry. Let’s compare apples to oranges!



The old saying “You can’t compare apples to oranges” is not true in bESTology. Read the above apple and orange reports then create a Mind Map to document your grainstorming discussion.

Grainstorm how each of the following impact apple and orange crops:

  • Weather (drought, rain, hurricane, freeze, etc.)
  • Pests
  • Bacteria and viruses
  • American dietary changes
  • Advancements in automation

Continue grainstorming and debating how an increase or decrease in apple and orange production affects the:

  • Economy
  • Workforce
  • Small family farms

Finalize your Mind Mapping activity by reflecting on the statement “Money does or does not grow on trees.”

BEST Farm Journal

Apples or oranges? Conduct an investigation on the impact of automation on either the apple or orange industry. Write the pros and cons of automation in your BEST Farm Journal. Reflect on your findings in particular the economic impact. Present your point of view to your BEST team members, “Will the citrus industry benefit from automation or is status quo sufficient?”

BEST Robot

If money (fruit) grows on trees, how is the product harvested?

It’s never too early to begin designing and building prototypes for your Bet The Farm robot. Locate an apple and an orange to help generate ideas for the robot’s end effector. Using an Excel spreadsheet, create a chart recording the following criteria and constraints:

  • Physical properties of the fruit (game pieces)
  • Harvesting a single piece of fruit versus a cluster
  • Alleviate damage to game pieces or playing field (BEST)
  • Speed and accuracy of picking or gathering fruit (game pieces)
  • Strength and durability
  • Maintenance of end effector
  • Construction materials
  • Moving/hauling the product (fruit)

Construct a minimum of three prototypes and evaluate. Choose the preferred design and document using either graph paper or CAD software. Archive the idea for Bet The Farm 2016!

Community Connection

Invite a representative from a local wholesale produce company to visit your school. Generate a list of questions including the following:

  • Since the sale of oranges has decreased nationally over the past 10 years, does this same decrease hold true for your local community or region as well?
  • Is there a higher profit in the sales of apples or oranges?
  • Which fruit has the longer shelf life and does that reflect a higher profit?
  • With the use of automation in harvesting, do they see an increase or decrease in damage to the fruits?
  • With the use of automation, has the availability of apples and oranges increased for their industry?
  • When the supply of apples and oranges decreases due to weather (freeze, drought, hurricane, etc.), how is their business impacted?

After the interview, discuss the future of money growing on trees.

Let’s Go Bananas!

Are you going bananas over apples and oranges? Take a moment to view how bananas are harvested! Click HERE for more fertilizer for the brain!

Bloom’s Taxonomy: archive, brainstorm, build, choose, conduct, construct, create, debate, design, discuss, document, evaluate, finalize, generate, interview, investigate, invite, locate, present, read, reflect, use, view, write

Workforce Skills: reading comprehension, active listening, critical thinking, speaking, active learning, writing, systems analysis, complex problem solving, equipment selection, operation analysis, systems evaluation, science, judgment and decision making, technology design

Download a PDF copy of Comparing Apples to Oranges – bESTology Week 6:  Click HERE

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