My bus ride to Houston was smooth as ever, fell asleep soon after leaving Austin and woke up in Houston, I do love the fact I sleep anywhere, makes travel easier and faster! My host Maria kindly picks me up from the bus station and we drive back to her place. The family have kindly prepared dinner and have also waited for my arrival, even though the bus was late. They are an interesting mix of Italian and Columbian and speak several languages! They have two young boys who are full of energy and very sweet. We have dinner and talk about my trip so far and find even more common ground as the dad studied ecology and more specifically entomology which is cool! They are both teachers here in the U.S.A. After a great dinner and some delicious local wine, we head to bed.
The next day, I have a meeting with Kelly, Program Manager for Project WILD. Project WILD is a wildlife-focused conservation education program for K-12 educators and their students. After a chat about how the organization came about and the type of work they do across the U.S.A, Kelly shows me some of the new materials they are working on. One of which is based on bats! They have several books including one on birds, aquatics and then a special one for young kids called ‘Growing Up Wild’. The books cover activities to do in class and include biology, maths, humanities as well as giving examples of jobs within STEM throughout the book.
Project WILD is one of the most widely-used conservation and environmental education programs among educators of students in kindergarten through high school. It is based on the premise that young people and educators have a vital interest in learning about our natural world. The project addresses the need for human beings to develop as responsible citizens of our planet. Project WILD’s core curricular materials, the Project WILD K-12 Curriculum and Activity Guide, the Aquatic WILD K-12 Curriculum and Activity Guide, and Science and Civics: Sustaining Wildlife, are not for sale. These guides are distributed free of cost to participants at Project WILD workshops run by facilitators within each state. This is so the educators have understood how to use the materials correctly and to ensure the proper use of them as well as tailoring the workshop to wildlife within that state. The workshops are also very reasonably prices at $25!
Kelly was kind enough to give me a copy of one of the books to take back with me to the U.K. I have definitely gained some great inspiration from the organisation about some of the things the Wildlife Trust could do back home! Thanks to Kelly for her time and showing me what great stuff Project WILD do. Hopefully I can make it to a workshop or session run on the second half of my U.S.A adventure!