Awards for Secondary Science Teachers
Oxford. 31 May 2006. Earthwatch, the international environmental charity, has awarded four teachers fully-funded placements on a tropical scientific research expedition through the annual Earthwatch Awards for Secondary Science Teachers.
Teachers from Oxfordshire, London, and Manchester will join Earthwatch scientists for two weeks as field assistants on the little populated Desroches Island in August. Fringed with coconut palms, Desroches is surrounded by coral reefs and mangroves, with giant tortoises walking the island's interior, and fruit bats and tropical birds filling the skies.
But this is no holiday - the team will spend their days identifying previously unexplored coral, mangroves, reef fish, snails, crabs, sponges, urchins and seagrasses in order to help scientists establish high-priority areas for monitoring and conservation. On their return, tehy will produce a series of lesson plans based on coastal ecology conservation. These educational resources will be made available to schools in the Seychelles and the UK to enhance the science national curriculum.
To win the award, the teachers demonstrated how the experience of working on a field research project will motivate them to incorporate environmental concerns into their teaching, thereby encouraging others to get more involved with conservation and helping Earthwatch achieve its mission.
Jenny Wilkinson from Henry Box School in Witney, Oxfordshire, said: "As a newly qualified teacher I am continually looking for ways to inspire my students and bring science alive for them in the classroom.
"I am very excited about the Seychelles expedition because I can see its potential for easily embellishing many aspects of the science curriculum other than the small amount of direct environmental teaching we are required to give."
"This really is a once in a lifetime opportunity," says Earthwatch Chief Scientist, Dr Roger Mitchell. "Not only will the winners gain experience of hands-on conservation in one of the most stunning parts of the world, but they will also have the opportunity to use their experience to inspire secondary students in the UK and in the Seychelles to help conserve our coastlines."
For press information, images and interviews please contact:
Emily May, Press Officer, Earthwatch, on + 44 (0) 1865 318852 / firstname.lastname@example.org