11th December 2020 — The Talbot Heath school community were thrilled to welcome back British geographer, field biologist, nature photographer, and writer, Stewart McPherson, to present an exclusive science Zoom lesson to hundreds of schools across the country and to UK Overseas Territories.
The event worked in conjunction with the 2020 Hanson Boxes that have been sent free to 20,000 schools across the UK, to reach 7,500,000 school children, endeavouring to inspire students about science and the remarkable world around them. TH Junior teacher, Jo Brown, and Stewart McPherson taught a live lesson to thousands of children about the vital role that insects play in our ecosystems.
Incorporating the resources found in the Hanson Boxes, which have been developed thanks to the Don Hanson Charitable Foundation, the session complemented the lesson plans that Jo has written for teachers to use. Stewart is passionate about inspiring children to take responsibility for the world around them, and these boxes contain incredible resources including science, history, and geography books as well as materials to make learning in the classroom even more exhilarating. The children were thoroughly engaged and enjoyed hearing about the importance of insects, as well as how to build an insect hotel and what to place inside it to encourage a variety of insects.
Concluding the session was a live Q and A with Stewart, where he was asked probing questions from future scientists about insects. He referenced Sir David Attenborough, emphasising, ‘the incredible importance of insects in our ecosystems; they provide the very foundation for the global ecosystems on our planet.’ Adding, ‘this really matters if we want to prevent the decline of species of insects, such as butterflies. You can make a real difference by building your bug hotels.’
Grateful thanks go to everyone who was involved in this exciting event, especially to Stuart McPherson, Jo Brown, the TH Tech team, as well as the Don Hanson Charitable Foundation, without which the event would not have been possible. Thanks also go to English primatologist and anthropologist, Jane Goodall who has also been very closely involved in the boxes with her ‘Roots and Shoots’ programme, encouraging everyone to make small changes locally to improve the environment.