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Studying a world of wonder

By Xing Wen | China Daily | Updated: 2022-11-24 08:41

Shen You takes students on a nature education trip.[Photo provided to China Daily]

As early as 2006, he and some members of the Chengdu Bird Watching Society had already taken the lead to initiate a series of sustainable education projects for primary and middle schools in Chengdu.

They designed relevant curricula and study tours for youngsters, published nature science-promotion brochures, delivered speeches on how to become a bird-watcher and held exhibitions of bird photos.

Shen and other bird-watching enthusiasts also started offering to act as guides in local parks to attract youngsters passing by.

"Nature education should be carried out systematically. The design of a high-quality nature education project should strike a balance between being strictly scientific and being entertaining, which is never an easy task," says Shen.

Shen has designed his projects to include multiple activities to better engage young students in learning bird-watching and about nature more generally.

For instance, students can explore the connections between birds and wetlands in role-playing games or learn about bird anatomy by assembling bird-shaped toys. They are also encouraged to observe and take notes on the behaviors of wild animals in their immediate surroundings every day.

These sustainable education projects were awarded Ford Motor Company's Conservation and Environmental Grants in 2008.More than 190,000 teachers and students from over 100 primary and middle schools in and near Chengdu had participated in these informative projects by the end of 2018.

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