Divers with children, or who are educators themselves, are being offered the opportunity to use a new free education portal designed to improve ocean and climate literacy worldwide.
Launched by UK-based charity the Manta Trust and timed to coincide with the upcoming COP26 climate-change conference, the Ocean Education Portal is now available to educators, parents and guardians, providing free access to marine and environmentally themed lesson-plans, games and resources.
The Manta Trust has already been in the diving news this week with its call for divers to steer clear of irresponsible manta tour operators, as reported on Divernet.
The trust says that it believes conservation is interdisciplinary. It consulted with more than 500 teachers from 30 countries to develop “engaging, curriculum-linked materials that would make it easy and fun to bring vital ocean and climate issues to classrooms and homes”.
The core feature of the portal is its Ocean Education Booklet, which contains 17 lesson-plans in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese for students aged 7-14. The 14 school subjects embrace “everything from biology to cooking, maths to languages, and physical education to citizenship”, and the booklet includes a plan guide for educators.
Multimedia highlights include an “Ocean Mindfulness Podcast” and videos including “Introduction to the Oceans” and “Sustainable Eating”, says the trust. A range of games and activities such as manta bingo, fish identification and mask-making have also been devised to entertain and engage younger children.
Teachers are also invited to book, through a small donation, an interactive “Skype a Scientist” session for their students, connecting them directly with a member of the Manta Trust team.
“We are delighted to finally have an online portal where educators can access the hundreds of ocean education resources we have been developing for years,” says Manta Trust education manager Flossy Barraud.