No more live creatures, but something even more exciting!
Due to ethical concerns and the already abundant pressure on our ocean, BeachTeach no longer use live animals for our incursions.
For many years, I've worried about the impact my business has on the ocean. Obviously, I'm a mad conservationist and I have always worked to protect and conserve the ocean. This was the reason I created BeachTeach! I have, for these many years, justified using live animals by saying that we had a permit to collect, they were for educational purposes, they were only invertebrates, etcetera. However, the time has come and enough is enough. Our permit states that we cannot collect and release (presumably because of the chance of releasing disease) and after talking to many, many colleagues, there really is no way to keep these animals alive and thriving in tanks for more than a few months.
Added to that, the feedback I've received from incursions has indicated that the live creatures aren't even the highlight! Kids are loving the other collections and activities so much that I've decided to put an end to keeping live creatures for our touch tanks.
But don't despair... I've been researching and learning to find something even more amazing to engage students as part of our interactive incursions! I wanted something to decrease the pressure on our ocean, rather than add to it... CHALLENGE BASED LEARNING!
While teaching in a school last year which was a pilot school for the iLearn program, I was introduced to Challenge Based Learning. I've seen this used, and have used it myself, in schools since. CBL is not unlike Problem or Project Based Learning, in that it engages students to use what they've learnt and apply it to solve a real world problem. However, CBL is founded on technology. Our students have access to an online world more vast than they could ever imagine. They also love technology and the technology-based skills they learn in school will be invaluable in their future lives. CBL requires students to use their skills and the opportunities this online world offers to solve real world problems. As part of our Primary and Secondary Incursions, students will learn to use Challenge Based Learning to apply their knowledge and understanding in order to conserve marine environments. They will consider their audience, their aim and their message, then choose to create a viral video, an image or infographic to help conserve our ocean.
I can't wait to see what students come up with!!
Drop me a line if you'd like to chat more - firstname.lastname@example.org