Biodiversity Workshop for Students at the Young Environmentalists Awards
Biodiversity is a difficult term to grasp. The Biodiversity Bonanza workshop at the YEA Awards Finals Showcase will allow young people to explore biodiversity through auditory, visual, and tactile learning and share their unique perspective with the public through an immersive exhibition that challenges the senses.
Biodiversity Bonanza focuses on personal exploration of biodiversity through outdoor based active learning. Together, we will explore the rich urban biodiversity with elements of species identification, surveying and becoming spatially and environmentally aware. Some of the topics covered include biodiversity in our everyday lives, local to global ecosystem services, significance of diversity in food systems and the future of biodiversity. All these topics will be discovered through real life examples. Overall, the immersive workshop will give participants a greater understanding of the rich biological diversity that surrounds them and create a more in-depth comprehension of ecosystem services on a local and global level. Young people will also engage in dialogue about biodiversity loss with a focus on problem-solving using nature-based and innovative solutions with some local examples.
By engaging young people in the creation of the Biodiversity Bonanza exhibition, they will have the ability to immerse themselves in biodiversity, thus becoming more aware of it in their everyday lives and gaining a more personal understanding of its positive impacts. The benefits of strengthening the human nature connection are aplenty and well-documented, including reducing negative mental health symptoms and activating soothing hormones. As a result of Biodiversity Bonanza, young people will form and express a personal understanding of biodiversity, expand their perspective by learning from their peers and feel empowered to become biodiversity advocates.
Target group: workshop targeting 15-21 years old (15), exhibition open to the public
Format: 2-hour in person workshop Workshop
Location: The Convention Centre, Dublin
Aim: Provide young people and the public with experiences that spark curiosity and instill appreciation for biodiversity
Workshop: The active-learning workshop will:
- Demonstrate biodiversity in an urban context
- Facilitate the formation of personal links to biodiversity in our everyday lives
- Create local to global biodiversity links and realise the importance of small actions
- Understanding ecosystem services with a focus on food systems and roles of pollinators
- Explore innovative solutions to biodiversity loss
- Use creativity to convey learnings and prepare an exhibition open to the public.
Participants and visitors will use all their senses to get a thorough understanding of biodiversity with elements of play:
- Young people will prepare interactive elements for the exhibition including physical samples for touching and smelling, recording soundscapes, and creating video clips that describe biodiversity.
- Visitors will be invited to guess items by isolating their senses, for example relying on the sense of smell alone to identify an item or trying to determine an animal by listening to the sound it makes, without the ability to see.
- The role of pollinators in our food systems will be conveyed through a game, where food items must be matched with their pollinator group, insects, small mammals, bats, or hummingbirds.
- Together, we will also explore the future of biodiversity with innovative solutions and prepare a display for the exhibition.
Urban biodiversity, Ecosystem services, Awareness and appreciation, Art
Biodiversity week 19th-28th May (YEA is taking place on the 26th May)
Participants will understand:
- What biodiversity looks, smells, feels, and sounds like
- Benefits of biodiversity and ecosystem services
- Innovative solutions to promoting and conserving biodiversity
Participants will experience:
- Outdoor activity
- Group work
- Speaking aloud
- Art based activity
- Physical/co-ordination activity
- Carrying out a survey/investigation
- Making decisions and planning
Participants will gain academic skills in:
- Science and geographic based understanding of environmental features of their locality
- CSPE (civic social and political education) understanding of interaction with the environment by diverse groups of the community
- PHSE (personal, health and social education) development of understanding of ‘self’ in relation to wider environment
Participants will gain interpersonal skills in:
- Team working, cooperation and sharing
- Openly expressing their opinion and communicating verbally
- Listening to others
- Expressing knowledge and views non-verbally (e.g., art/movement)
This project supports the aims of several Environmental Policies: National Biodiversity Plans EU Biodiversity strategy 2030 Sustainable Development Goals Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) 2030
Learn more about the Young Environmentalist Awards: https://ecounesco.ie/young-environmentalist-awards/