We´re aiming to speak to over 1000 students and teachers along the 5000mileproject route about the expedition and its “raison d´etre”:
“running for South America´s wild places and wildlife”
We present in Spanish as best we can; we´re constantly learning, the classes have been great and the combination of our power point presentation and the keeness of the students and teachers have made the sessions really worthwhile.
One of the key themes is, “ecosystem services” , a new but popular concept in the field of nature conservation, addressing how we all need and benefit from the natural world. The list of ecosystem services is endless but includes: decomposition, pollination, oxygen, clean water, flood control, natural pest control, food…..
We also discuss the environmental threats we´re seeing as we run from: introduced species, rubbish (we´re undertaking a daily litter survey), salmon and mussel farms, deforestation, over-grazing etc. and the actions we can all take to lessen the impacts.
We´ve so far spoken to children from 8 to 17 years old and have generally found them to be very knowledgable about South America´s environment and wildlife. We make the sessions as interactive as possible, dividing the classes into teams with question-and-answer competitions and a quiz on native bird and mammal identification.
We have so far presented in the Colegio de Puerto Natales; Colegio de Hernan Medino Correa, Cochrane; Colegio de Hamburgo, Puyhuapi and last week, Colegio Faquen Montessori, Puerto Montt and also in Uruguay to St. George’s college. Teachers and head-teachers have also joined the sessions which is fantastic and the energy levels have been superb. Thank you to All for inviting us into your schools, we have hugely enjoyed it!
We also spoke to the primary school in Valle Chacabuco, a tiny but lovely collection of chilren whose parents are working for the charity whom we are raising funds for “Conservacion Patagonica” (CP). CP are doing incredible work in restoring damaged grasslands and native wildlife to southern Chile.
We aim to connect with some of these schools again, further along our route via satelite phone and skype, so that we can share some of the wildlife, wilderness and human encounters we´re having along the way, as well as answering questions etc.
If you are a teacher or parent who would like to connect your school/class with our “real-life” expedition, we would love to hear from you, please click here and to find out more about the Big-Toe Classroom and what we can offer, please click here.