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.

JANUARY | Bees, Nature’s 3D Printers

At the Arribada Club, we strive to combine conservation and technology in as many classes as possible. That is why coming up with this class was so gratifying – seeing that the two came together so, naturally, well!

Bees are incredible animals. But, not only are they incredible of their own accord, they also perform an essential task regarding humans, as they pollinate a third of the crops that we eat. So, we need bees! And, unfortunately, a number of factors is making their numbers decline all around the world.

That’s why we need to treasure these animals and learn about them as much as possible. And, what better way to do that than to invite our local bee expert, Laura Benitez! Laura, was gracious enough to visit the Club and told us all about the fascinating lives and habits of bees. Even more amazing was the fact that she brought in a hive with her, so that the students were able to see these animals live at work.

One particular aspect that we delved into was their construction skills! The interesting parallel to be made was with our 3D printer. Bees are amazing printers, and instead of using plastic, they just use wax! They excrete it from tiny glands, which create little wax flakes on their abdomens, which they then gather up and chew, until they are soft enough to mold. While our printer heats up the plastic and then extrudes it through the nozzle, the bee does the same thing with wax, and extrudes it through its mouth.

With our bees, and their beautiful house close at hand, we were able to again revise some geometry concepts by looking at the hexagon – the most compactable and efficient shape at our disposal. We even compared 3D-printed hexagons with the ones that our bees made. The bees clearly took the prize in craftsmanship!