Saturday, 9 January 2016

Association of Science Educators Conference 2016

On 9th January 2016, not long after returned from Antarctica, I gave a 45 minute talk at the Association of Science Educators (ASE) Conference. The Association is for Science teachers and I talked about "Educating our Future Environmentalists". The conference was at Birmingham University which was beautiful.

I contacted the Association last year and asked if I could speak at their annual conference about how they, as science teachers, could help to education my generation about important environmental issues so that they care and want to make change. The conference was huge with over 4,000 people attending. With lots of talks and workshops on at the same time, it was great to have a lecture room with lots of teachers coming to listen.

I wanted to get across that there was plenty that they could talk about without nature and conservation being added to the curriculum.

The first thing I talked about was the need to teach everyone about British nature, so that we know five common birds, trees, animals, pollinators, insects and habitats as well as what issues are impacting on them.

It was the first time I talked to teachers, which was quite daunting and a note to myself is that science teachers don't seem to have a sense of humour like mine back at Chew Valley School.

I talked about teaching about palm oil plantations, cattle ranching as reasons for deforestation other than just logging.

I talked about endangered animals that teenagers might be moved by and conservation projects that I have come across that have been successful like the Yellow-throated Picathartes project in Ghana. I also talked about one amazing woman from the Bolivian Amazon who left to get an education but returned to persuade her community to build a lodge and say no to a logging contract.

I also talked about the issues that effect us in the UK like Fracking, GMO, TTIP, habitat loss as well as pesticides and the effect on bees.

Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig at ASE Conference in Birmingham University
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig

The teachers responded really well to my talk and it was interesting to talk to a lady who worked with head teachers in London and who my Mum knew from years ago. Her name is Yeasmin Chowdhury and she lives in Plaistow in London if anyone knows her and can get her in touch. She was really supportive of me, which was really kind.

About the Writer

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig on Scilly
Photograph taken by and copyright Chris Craig

Mya-Rose Craig is a 13 year old young birder, naturalist, conservationist, environmentalist, activist, writer and speaker. She is based near Bristol and writes the successful Birdgirl Blog, with posts about birding and conservation from around the world. She loved seeing Mountain Gorillas in East Africa and Penguins in Antarctica over Christmas 2015, her 7th continent. 

Mya-Rose is a Bristol European Green Capital Ambassador along with Kevin McCloud, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Tony Juniper, Simon King, Miranda Krestovnikoff and Shaun the Sheep! See the full list of Bristol Ambassadors. She has also been listed with the singer songwriter George Ezra and actress Maisie Williams from Game of Thrones as one of Bristol's most influential young people. Please like her Birdgirl Facebook Page and follow her on Birdgirl Twitter

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