Beelore seed packets on display at a festival, Scotland 2015

Working with Sheffield Primary Schools

One of the great things about this project is that we have the opportunity and the privilege of working with lots of talented and creative individuals. These included the Year Five Students of Manor Lodge and Wybourn Community Primary Schools in Sheffield, and their enthusiasm was evident in the plethora of brilliant work they created.

We helped the students to develop futuristic ‘design fictions’ - prototypes which responded to the bee and pollinator crisis in a world where humanity is on the verge of extinction. The pupils took their ideas through a number of stages; from brainstorming ideas, to designing the prototype through storyboards, pitching and refining ideas through a dragon’s den, right through to building their own digital 3D designs, which we made into 3D printed models.

bee shield edited.jpg

Design ideas included the ‘Bee Buster,’ a spray to protect bee hives from predators such as hornets, a ‘Bee Dome,’ which is a sanctuary for bees that includes an antidote shower and a hospital for bees, and the ‘Bee Shield,’ which will provide the bees with protection (see photo above).

Furthermore, each student created their own individual newspaper, using their imaginations to think about the news in a world where bees are almost extinct, reflecting on the flowers and plants bee need, the problems they face, and their design ideas, as well as lots of bee-autiful drawings! These newspapers were compiled into two class newspapers - with pieces of work from every student.

Finally, we spent our last day at the school working together with the Manor Lodge students to get their design fiction exhibition ready for after school, with added pressure because the Summer Fete was on the same day! The pupils worked on their dramas of news reports set in the future and got ready to perform, and helped to arrange the materials. It was wonderful to see the pupils work together with such enthusiasm.