This is Nature Labs.
Imagine you're a high school teacher...
You’re a Science 9 teacher and mandated to meet vague, varied curriculum guidelines, but the textbooks are out-dated and the subject matter is dry. You want to bring the course to life and you want to draw real-world connections, so you decide to use Nature Labs – its unit plans and accompanying lessons – to help you integrate new teaching strategies.
Imagine you're a grade 9 student...
Today, in science class, your teacher introduces a new unit. Together with your peers, you enter the Nature Labs online portal, but rather than learning through a unified text, you each get to choose a story – an animal – through which you want to learn. Your best friend selects the quirky Rocky River bighorn sheep herd. But bears speak to you and you decide on the story of grizzly bear 126.
Why Nature Labs?
Why? Canada’s natural inheritance is unparalleled, but safeguarding our biodiversity is not without its challenges. Canada’s 2020 Biodiversity Goals, a bipartisan objective, aims to tackle this problem, but the task is daunting with the discourse surrounding the environment becoming increasingly polarized and overly simplistic. To overcome a citizenry that is overwhelmed misinformed, and apathetic, we must heal the wounds that divide and that starts by equipping teachers with the tools to deconstruct the complex and enliven the obscure. After all, education is the most cost-effective means of creating a new generation that understands and appreciates the value of nature – and thinks critically about how Canada can create a better balance between people and the environment.
Who is Nature Labs?
Nature Labs is built on a credible, proven track record. For seven years, an accomplished educator – Jill Cooper – and an award-winning storyteller – Simon Jackson – have immersed themselves in the Canadian landscape, documenting the remarkable stories of Canada’s biodiversity through GhostBear.org, an online community that connects over 20,000 people. Throughout their journey, they’ve travelled to small town Saskatchewan and big city Toronto and everywhere in-between to share their tales and listen to what young Canadians think about nature. Their takeaway: Nature unites us all and that by making the seemingly irrelevant relevant, it’s possible to showcase that nothing is black and white and through better education, a more thoughtful citizenry is possible.