By Jane Rolen
Welcome to the maiden issue of “The Hexagon!” It is an exciting year for COFACC, as we set our eyes on the horizon, ready to surge and accomplish what we set forth to do. Releasing this newsletter is one of our major projects this year. So, here we are!
Why did we decide to call this newsletter “The Hexagon?” First, let me tell you a few scientifically proven facts about this amazing shape. It is the most efficient use of materials and space, and nature seems to know this.
- Nature’s tiny engineers – the bees! This is one of the most commonly-known hexagons found in nature. Whenever you see the inside of a beehive, the number of packed hexagons are truly a marvel. The bees used the shape of a hexagon because of its packing efficiency. If a series of circles were packed on top of each other, there would be empty spaces in between them. But these empty spaces can be avoided by changing the shape to a hexagon. So, the hexagon allows the bees to pack the most cells in the smallest space.
- Dragonfly eyes! – If you look closely at a dragonfly, its eyes are actually collection of tiny lenses, called facets or ommatidia. This is known as a compound eye, where each lens functions as an individual visual receptor. Each lens is formed in the shape of a hexagon! To make up the complete eye, over 30,000 hexagonal lenses are packed together, which results in what scientists refer to as ultra-multicolor vision. This allows the dragonfly to have color differentiation abilities far superior to that of humans. The dragonfly can have more than 30,000 compound lenses in its eye because of the high packing efficiency of the hexagonal shape.
- Hexagons on a Turtle shell! – These slow-moving animals are protected with a hard shell that is made of keratin plates called scutes, laid over a bony substructure. The entire shell is formed from individual subunits. A closer look further reveals that these cells have a shape resembling a hexagon. The subunits are given hexagonal shape because they are one of the most efficient geometrical shapes that can cover curved surfaces with minimal material wastage. After the inner hexagonal layers are formed, the shell is completed with filler shapes that constitute differently sized polygons.
The Hexagon is symbolic of, and coincides with COFACC’s Vision and Mission, which is to be the catalyst in promoting growth, collaboration and engagement. We serve as the “collaborative voice” for our partners and members. The hexagon is the perfect shape to build togetherness and efficiency. It is the symbol of “harmony and balance,” which is the perfect description of what COFACC stands for.