Anglia Ruskin University is running free webinars for teachers, teaching assistants and educators.  The overall theme is Changing the World One Lesson at a Time: Environmental and Sustainability Education, and each has been developed with a specific focus and will comprise three short presentations followed by the opportunity for Q&A and discussion as follows:

Webinar 1: Outdoor Education   Thursday 14th May, 1600 – 1700.  The speakers are

  • Heidi Latronico-Ferris, PECT – School grounds an untapped resource and additional classroom space
  • Michelle Heather, Buckden Primary School – Teaching through allotments and growing
  • Stephen Brown, Cambs County Council – Learning beyond the school gate and using your local area to create amazing learning experiences

You can book to take part in these seminars here.  The next webinar is on June 4th.  The focus will be Environmental and Sustainability Education across the curriculum.  ∫∫∫

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In its Schools Brief, the Economist  has published the second of 6 weekly articles on the climate.  These will be valuable reminders to those of us who’ve been following these events for 40 years or more, and a sobering story for those relative new to our failed attempts to curb CO2 emissions.  We think that these articles will be useful for older students studying environmental issues in schools, and for their teachers too.

This second BriefHow modelling articulates the science of climate change, looks at the history of our attempts to model the climate system, beginning with Arrhenius at the end of the 19th century who wondered if a weakened greenhouse effect might be to blame for the ice-ages that affect the Earth.  The brief explores the complexity and limitations of the modelling we have today.  It begins with a graphic explanation of the greenhouse effect:

“To imagine Earth without greenhouse gases in its atmosphere is to turn the familiar blue marble into a barren lump of rock and ice on which the average surface temperature hovers around -18ºC. Such a planet would not receive less of the sunlight which is the ultimate source of all Earth’s warmth. But when the energy it absorbed from the sunlight was re-emitted as infrared radiation, as the laws of physics require, it would head unimpeded back out into space.  Greenhouse gases block that swift exit.  Transparent to incoming sunlight, they absorb outgoing infrared radiation, thus warming the atmosphere and, in so doing, the surface below.  The result is an average surface temperature of some 15ºC—warm enough for open seas and oceans and a vibrant biosphere.”  ∫∫∫

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#Woodcraft Folk has launched its new #DreamBigAtHome offer to children and young people.  This includes:

 – A new website with 100s of activities for children and young people to do at home
 – Weekly social action sessions, empowering young people to create their own solutions to the current crisis
 – Regular live programme of games, quizzes, story-telling and themed based sessions
 – Physical activity packs which we are distributing through food banks and other agencies to reach families in need.   ∫∫∫
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With NOAA’s Data in the Classroom resources students can use real-time data to explore important environmental issues (El Niño, sea level rise, coral bleaching, water quality, and ocean acidification), and can start to develop problem-solving skills employed by scientists.  Access online and classroom-ready curriculum activities with a scaled approach to learning and easy-to-use data tools. Teaching resources for each issue area include a Teacher’s Guide, Supplemental Power Point, Student Activity Sheets, and Science Standards Correlations.   ∫∫∫

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The Coombe Bissett Project website has a range of nature-related activities c/o the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust.  ∫∫∫

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eePRO is an online platform that provides environmental education professionals and students from around the world with opportunities to network, discuss important issues, and access high-quality professional development resources.   If you join eePRO you can post resources, events and jobs, join groups, and share your profile with the community.  Anyone can join.  ∫∫∫

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Here’s a reminder about Earth School.  This has been launched in response to the COVID-19 crisis, and is a 30-day interactive scheme for students around the world so that they can “celebrate, explore, and connect with nature”.  Earth School provides free, high-quality educational content to help students, parents, and teachers who are currently at home.  Initiated by UNEP and TED-Ed in collaboration with many organisations including BBC Ideas, Conservation International, National Geographic Society, Royal Geographic Society, and WWF.  You can get started here.  ∫∫∫

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For insights into the work of Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, click here.  The most recent feature is by, Director, Ian Humphreys who writes about what the new normal should be.

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Do you have any recently published resources, innovative programs, upcoming opportunities, or other updates you want to share with the GEEP network? The next issue of GEEP News is coming out in mid-June.  You are invited to send any submissions for the next issue to info@thegeep.org by May 31.  Past issues of GEEP News are available here.  ∫∫∫

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It was Hedgehog Awareness Week last week.  We missed it.  Did you?  Never mind, this website is still useful if you want to help these iconic animals. ∫∫∫

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The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) is inviting proposals for public engagement with environmental science which understand, address or mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.  NERC intends to fund projects costing up to £10,000 each with a total budget of £50,000.  Successful projects must be completed by 31 March 2021. The closing date for proposals is 16:00 Hours (BST) Wednesday 13 May, by email.  Please read the Announcement of Opportunity for more details.  ∫∫∫

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Butterfly Conservation wonders if you have seen many Holly Blues this year.  It is easily identified in early spring, as it emerges well before other blue butterflies, and tends to fly high around bushes and trees, whereas other grassland blues usually stay near ground level.  It is much the commonest blue found in parks and gardens where it congregates around Holly (in spring) and Ivy (in late summer).  ∫∫∫