The Natural History Museum is inviting schools across the UK to join its new education programme, Explore: Urban Nature, which is designed to provide children with the skills to engage with and protect their local environment.
The new programme aims to inspire, inform and empower teachers and students, aged 9-14, to go outdoors and get involved with the nature on their doorsteps.
Over the next three years Explore: Urban Nature will involve museums from around the UK, connecting teachers and students with their local environment, allowing them to become “local experts” and initiating a conversation about the importance of urban nature and biodiversity. The programme will include teacher training to help develop practical skills for outdoor STEM investigations into urban nature, as well as hands-on outdoor museum workshops where students can investigate the challenges facing nature in urban areas.
Doug Gurr, director of the Natural History Museum, said: “When people talk about nature, they often imagine remote wilderness or rolling countryside but there is a fantastic diversity of life in towns and cities.
“The Natural History Museum is on a mission to create advocates for the planet and we know that once young people are inspired to engage with the biodiversity around them, they are far more likely to want to protect and enhance it.”
Throughout the three-year programme, museum partners from the Real World Science network, including Leeds Museums and Galleries and Dorset Museum, will share resources to help students get outdoors, observe nature and ask their own scientific questions.
Natural History Museum ‘Tree Health’ competition
To celebrate the launch of Explore: Urban Nature, schools are invited to enter a competition to win a virtual Q&A session with a Natural History Museum scientist and an exclusive goody bag from the Museum’s gift shop.
To enter, students must carry out a “health check” of a local tree, looking for evidence of common pests and diseases, using a step-by-step guide provided by the museum. Teachers can then submit their students’ observations online before 1st October 2021.
To learn more about the programme and to enter the Tree Health competition visit www.nhm.ac.uk/schools/explore-urban-nature