News and Notes

Leading Educators to Discuss Inspiring the Next Generation on Half-Earth Day

On Half-Earth Day 2021, educators from around the world will gather to share experiences and successes in their work to engage young people and diverse populations in biodiversity. From the classroom to the forest to London National Parks, instructors and curriculum builders will discuss how they are inspiring the next generation of conservation scientists.

A Biodiverse Education: Outdoors, in Schools, and in the Community, held from 10-11:50 am EDT (3-4:50 pm BST), will feature short talks that flow from finding awe and wonder, to shaking up the standard school model, to getting outside to engage with nature in the city, suburbs, and country.  

“All children start out curious about the natural world, and we need to nurture and sustain that, and support them to make their biophilia welcome, shared with friends, family, and community leaders,” said Dennis Liu, Vice President of Education, E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation and moderator of the session.

Erica McAlister, senior curator and entomologist at the Natural History Museum of London, has assembled a selection of professional naturalists who will tell weird and wonderful species stories. Sam Kendall and Dan Ryan of Eden Project will detail examples of schools in the United Kingdom that are incorporating natural history across the curriculum and share ways to get biodiversity into the classroom. Television producer and activist Mary Colwell is a leader in the effort to develop a standard Naturalist History course at the secondary school level and will discuss the progress. Before closing with discussion and questions, Daniel Raven-Ellison and Floree Zama-Neagra will talk about biodiversity learning in urban environments like the London National Park City (LNPC) and introduce us to a few community Rangers. 

Schedule: A Biodiverse Education: Outdoors, in Schools, and in the Community 

3:00 – 3:25 pm: The Wonder of Nature and Finding Biophilia

Dennis Liu, Half-Earth Project, a brief introduction
Erica McAlister, Natural History Museum, The Wonder and Beauty of Insects
Lee Davies, Kew Gardens, The Wonder and Beauty of Fungi
Alex Mills, Natural England, Surveying the Diversity of Plants

3:25 – 3:50 pm: Biodiversity Learning in Schools

Sam Kendall, Eden Project, Supporting Biodiversity Learning in Children
Mat Strevens, Trythall Primary School
John Patterson, St Vincent’s School, Reclaim the Green, Reclaim the Nature
Mary Colwell, Writer and Producer, Proposal for a Natural History GCSE 

3:50 – 4:00 pm: Moderated Discussion

4:00 – 4:35 pm: Beyond Schools and Community Engagement

Dan Ryan, Eden Project, Community Engagement with Biodiversity
Richard Dunne, The Harmony Project
Matthew Shribman, AimHi Earth
Floree Zama-Neagra, LNPC Ranger Community & Programme Manager
Daniel Raven-Ellison, LNPC Ranger
Allia Fredricks, LNPC Ranger
Majdouline El Hichou, LNPC Ranger

4:35 – 4:50 pm: Moderated Discussion and Closing Remarks

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Half-Earth Day will be streamed live to participants across the globe and in addition to Education & Technology, will include sessions on Science & Conservation, and Business & Community. 

The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Find out more: https://half-earthday2021.brandlive.com/half-earth

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