The students at Begawan Learning Centre delve into the captivating world of insects in their theme, Animal Tales. This immersive learning experience takes them on a journey through the intricate lives of these fascinating creatures, exploring their anatomy, unique characteristics, roles in the ecosystem, life cycles, metamorphosis, and even the valuable products they provide for humans. By engaging their senses and delving into hands-on activities, the students embark on a meaningful, experiential, and relevant exploration of the insect kingdom.

Exploring Insects Up Close

The adventure begins as students venture around the learning centre, collecting small insects to examine under microscopes. Through direct observation, they witness the remarkable features of these creatures first-hand. The divisions of the head, thorax, and abdomen become tangible, while the six legs, some adorned with delicate hairs, inspire awe. Armed with this newfound knowledge, students become adept at distinguishing insects from other arthropods, such as spiders.

Facilitator guides students on how to examine insect details  with a microscope
Facilitator guides students on how to examine insect details  with a microscope

Crafting Beeswax Candles

Having mastered insect anatomy, our young learners embark on their next expedition, harnessing the incredible resource bees provide: beeswax. Engrossed in the process, students eagerly assist in cutting the beeswax into smaller pieces to expedite melting. Utilising a double boiler method, they carefully liquefy the wax over a pot of boiling water. Once melted, aromatic essential oils such as lavender, rose, lemongrass and frangipani infuse the mixture. With great care, the fragrant liquid is poured into moulds fitted with wicks. After a brief hardening period, their homemade beeswax candles are ready to glow. This creative endeavour allows children to apply their knowledge practically, igniting a sense of accomplishment.

Students pouring the beeswax candle to the glasses.
Students pouring the beeswax into the glasses to make their candles.

Nurturing Bee-Friendly Gardens

Beyond theory, this comprehensive activity introduces environmental stewardship. Students bring flowers from their own homes to create a bee-friendly habitat around the learning centre. By actively participating in the cultivation of a nourishing environment, children learn about the interconnectedness between insects and the natural world. The addition of beehives solidifies their commitment to fostering a sustainable ecosystem for these vital pollinators.

Fascinating Beehive Discoveries

During their beehive observations, students stumble upon an intriguing find. One hive has been abandoned due to termite damage, yet remnants of the honeycomb remain, showcasing its intricate structure. In contrast, the other hive teems with an intact colony. Because it is too early to harvest honey, the students opt to leave this hive undisturbed, as the colony is still small and has the potential to grow.

Nest box of bees at Begawan Farming Site

Through this comprehensive approach, students engage their senses, turning their learning experience into a memorable adventure. The knowledge gained serves as a sturdy foundation and a bridge to future discoveries. We hope that these activities leave an indelible impact on students’ minds, propelling them towards a lifelong pursuit of knowledge.

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