Accessible Science

by Inga Yandell

MM-ACCESIBLE SCIENCE-PB

Engaging curious minds through interactive media encourages global participation and collaboration for research and conservation initiatives.

Broadening the horizon for education through varied platforms including games, podcasts, webcasts, slideshows, videos, apps, eBooks and the like— represent opportunities to enhance and personalise the learning experience. Add to this the ability to share and communicate news, ideas, inspiration, and opportunities that connect us to projects, causes and discoveries on a global scale and you effectively create a world of resources.

Following a photographer, scientist or explorer in the field is easier than ever— instead of waiting weeks, or months to receive a brief telegraph from a remote outpost, now thank’s to global internet access, we can track an expedition via satellite and google maps, broadcast images, audio and conduct webcam chats via skype.

Science is now also able to extend it’s reach further by integrating online content with opportunities to fund research projects or provide equipment to classrooms. A great example of this is MicroGlobalScope one of Science House Foundation’s core programs. It uses a combination of hands-on, informal science education and cultural collaboration. Sending microscopes and digital cameras to middle school children all over the world. One of these microscopes, called the MiScope, fits in the palm of a kid’s hand and allows them to explore and discover the hidden world around them. Participants in 27 countries share their discoveries on this platform. Read more about this in the article ‘Donate Your Brain to Science For a Minute’ by Rita J.King

Looking to enter the field? EnvironmentalScienceDegree.com provides a resource for those interested in pursuing a career in science. Their latest reference 101 Top Web Resources on Climate Change, references leading sites in climate science.

‘Climate Curious’ can also find a wealth of actionable-resources that delve into this aspect of science on the Polar Bears International website. Here, scientists explore the tundra and frozen far reaches of the Arctic to provide insight into their research and discoveries, often reporting on new developments as they happen. Unprecedented access to the Arctic, fast-tracked via live webcam. Students, communities, institutes and educators all take advantage of PBI’s archive on the Arctic which was developed to make science accessible with lesson plans, fun projects and challenges involving simple actions that anyone can take to positively impact climate change. Giving us the tools we need to save our sea ice and ultimately our planet.

Education through experience is another avenue making science more accessible. Polar Bears International also prioritise Adventure Learning as an approach to communicating science— every fall, hosting a Leadership Camp on their Tundra Buggy Lodge (a roaming classroom) in Churchill, Manitoba for students and Zoo Keepers. The goal of the camp is to equip the students to return home as ‘Ambassadors of the Arctic’, communicating in their relatively-southern communities how peoples’ actions, no matter how small, have the power to affect life even in the arctic. The experience recruits a new generation of wild guardians who share a passion for imparting knowledge, and reverence generating awareness and inspiration for our planet. Read online journals and view images from past students. Other resources include ‘News from the North’, and the Polar Bear Alert Program.

Endeavouring to engage the world through a record breaking initiative, National Geographic this month launched the ‘Great Nature Project’. Recognising the power of photos to both educate and resonate a deeper understanding of the natural world, the well established society— now celebrating 125 years of exploration are harnessing a global collective to create the world’s largest image database. Profiting science and aiding discovery the visual treasury is supported by National Geographic’s extensive archives, integrating past research, interviews, field notes, detailed illustrations, interactive maps, articles, lesson plans, conservation programs and outreach projects— delivering a copious amount of background information, that makes science far more than just accessible— it becomes a virtual experience, to which we can all contribute. Take part in the ‘Great Nature Project’ and help expand our knowledge of the Natural World.

Be inspired by the Masters, and attend a National Geographic Live event. The lecture tours present an opportunity to digest the wisdom and experience the passion of leading photojournalists, explorers and other experts. This month, National Geographic Live comes to Melbourne for the first time with Into the Icy Realms: On Assignment with Paul Nicklen, an epic tale of adventure from one of the most remote corners of the planet. Discover what it’s like to be on assignment with National Geographic as real life explorer, biologist and photojournalist Paul Nicklen shares his most intense and inspiring encounters, embracing the extreme in pursuit of some of the most elusive polar creatures. Renown for his ability to capture unique images of deadly and endangered animals in extreme locations, viewing the wild through Paul’s lens will open your eye’s and heart to a fierce and fragile world. For event details and locations National Geographic Live and view footage of events on You Tube.

Travelling exhibits allow us to study wild wonders and support projects that document diversity and employ preservation strategies. Currently touring the Wild Wonders of Europe outdoor exhibit – the world’s largest conservation communication project. The exhibit was produced from the efforts of 69 leading European nature photographers, in 48 European countries and portrays, 50 national parks, and 1000 animal and plant species— representing over 1000 days in the field on more than 135 assignments. Wild Wonders of Europe is about showcasing Europe’s Unseen, Unexpected and Unforgettable natural heritage. The wildlife and wild places that most of us don’t even now exist. The core message being to celebrate the joy of wildness, the amazing wildlife comeback and that nature conservation works, whilst at the same time highlighting the values we risk losing. A key partner of the project is the conservation initiative Rewildling Europe.

Film is a medium for science which informs and entertains. IMAX and 3D have transformed traditional documentaries into epic adventures, engulfing audiences on a grand scale transporting them to other worlds. We can navigate through earths wild realms both beneath the surface and above, or go beyond into space to explore a Hidden Universe. Released this month on DVD and Blue-ray, ‘The Penguin King’ narrated by David Attenborough – following the feathered adventures of an enigmatic character and the challenges he faces as King of an ice city on a remote sub-Antarctic island. Thank’s to our friends at Readers Digest we have several DVD’s of this stunning feature up for grabs. If you have a ‘Heroic Bird Tale’ to share, submit it here for a chance to win a copy. Also on the horizon, a new film ‘Hidden Universe 3D’, scheduled for release in IMAX Sydney and Melbourne this September. Bringing the Universe to life with unprecedented clarity, the film will provide new insight into how the Universe was formed and allow audiences to explore the earliest galaxies.

This is but a humble reference, hinting to an abundance in resources which make science accessible. Rather than provide an executive summary covering the world of resources, it hopefully encourages one to discover and create their own library of knowledge and inspiration assets.

SEEK ADVENTURE. SAVE WILDLIFE.
Chief Editor Bare Essentials – Inga Yandell

The following two tabs change content below.
Inga Yandell
Explorer and photo-journalist, passionate about nature, culture and travel. Combining science and conservation with investigative journalism to provide educational resources and a platform for science exploration.
Inga Yandell

Latest posts by Inga Yandell (see all)

Visit, View, and Subscribe to Bare Essentials Magazine


Previous post:

Next post: