GeoPark Hour

Last month saw the launch of #GeoparkHour on Twitter. Every Tuesday at 1300 UTC, Global Geoparks worldwide and their local partners are encouraged to share the best examples of their work promoting geological heritage and supporting sustainable economic development through eco-tourism. The initiative was launched by the coordinating team behind the 7th International Conference on Geoparks that is due to take…

I.D.E.A.S for Uganda

Matova Paul, central regional co-ordinator of the I.D.E.A.S for Uganda initiative, discusses its work at Makerere University in Kampala. Background Intellectual Decisions on Environmental Awareness Solutions (I.D.E.A.S) for Uganda is among the fastest growing youth-led voluntary environmental organizations in East Africa. With chapters in primary, secondary schools and universities, the movement is progressively creating environmental awareness among…

Thinking Allowed on Schooling

Thinking Allowed on Schooling is crammed with down-to-earth common sense observations and advice, formed from exhaustive research and vast experience of all levels in the education system. As a Cumbrian colleague, I could be accused of bias in my comments about this book, but Mick Water’s track record speaks volumes.  He started as a primary…

Nature offers the best training ground

Outdoor environmental education cultivates curiosity and discovery in children, which are the fundamental building blocks of STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths), and it encourages students to make science a part of their everyday lives – so says a report in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, (and the Children and Nature Network). The report says: “Consider that engineering,…

Clean up that beach 2015

The Marine Conservation Society is organising another beach clean up.  This year it takes place from 18 to 21 September, and a list of events is shown here. Last year, 273,747 items of litter were collected.  As this is 2.5 pieces every metre, it may seem a surprise that we win any good beach awards. The full results for 2014…

LOtC Resource Packs

LOtC Resource Packs are lesson plans for curriculum focused learning outside the classroom. Each pack contains 6 lesson plans, a case study of a project, and general tips and information on delivering learning outside the classroom,and all plans list the equipment needed, suitable venue, and ideas for differentiation, expansion and follow up in class. The packs…

Where are the bees?

It’s hard to know what to make of the bee survey results reported in the Guardian in August.  The headline, which seems misleading, was: Bee count finds school grounds abuzz as their favourite habitat The report began: “Schools and gardens have beaten farmland and the countryside in a survey to determine Britain’s most bee-friendly habitats.…

Monitoring air pollution by phone

On September 1st, the iSpex-EU project was launched.  This is setting out to recruit people from cities across Europe (see the map) to monitor air pollution.  The project aims to contribute to research by encouraging people to use their mobile phones to record levels of particles and droplets known as atmospheric aerosols. Toby Shannon, the UK co-ordinator of…

Earth Overshoot Day

August 13th was Earth Overshoot Day this year.  That’s the day when our annual demand for the goods and services that our land and seas can provide goes beyond what the Earth’s ecosystems can renew in a year. Overshoot means we are drawing down the planet’s principal rather than living off its annual interest and leads to a depletion…

Experience the world

Here’s a blog post from the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust on the importance of learning outside. It begins: It’s a myth to think that learning outside the classroom is ‘just play’ – we’ve seen first-hand how play helps children develop their social, emotional and physical skills. Every young person should experience the…