Our curriculum currently runs for two whole school years. These are just some of the highlights we have during a normal Arribada Club programme, for both our Year One and Year Two students.

MARCH | Animal GPS Tracking I

After learning the theory behind the GPS system, it was time for our students to get hands-on with a proper field experiment.

Part of our mission is to come up with activities that are somewhat analogous to the work being done by conservationists. So, as our students are still too young to work with the turtles that come to visit their island – which Arribada helps to track and monitor –, we had to come up with an alternative.

Enter Sokis, our Club mascot! A friendly dog ready to help us. But, to properly welcome him, first we had to get to know him a little better. Which we did, with an introduction to canine body language!

The fact is Príncipe island has a bit of a problem with its stray dog population, meaning that relations between dogs and humans are not always smooth. And some of the problems simply arise from miscommunication. That is why we came up with a crash course on the subject.

Where are his ears pointing, up or down? Is he wagging his tail or is it tucked beneath his legs? In order to safely interact with our canine friends we have to understand how they’re feeling. So, with the help from a card game, we learned what to look for and how to correctly decipher their disposition.

After we finished our game, and having acquired a new and keen insight into the canine psyche, we opened the Club doors to our mascot! Sokis was cheerfully greeted by the students and one by one they all came to meet him – always being careful to assess his mood, of course. Some of them had never touched a dog before and were quite nervous, but they all got a kick out of it!

Now that we could safely approach our playful friend we could finally set to work and place a GPS tracker on him. So – with the help of an especially designed collar – that’s what we did. After that we said goodbye and waited for the next day. Because the interesting thing about Sokis is that he roams freely through Príncipe… And we were going to find out where, in our next class!