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FREE ARKive Education Resources to support STEM Engagement

Free ARKive education resources to support STEM engagement

Free, curriculum-linked resources to support STEM engagement in UK schools. I work for UK-based charity Wildscreen, leading the education programme for their flagship initiative – ARKive (www.arkive.org). Wildscreen works to promote a greater public appreciation of the world’s biodiversity and the conservation of nature, through the power of wildlife imagery. Through ARKive, Wildscreen is working with the world’s most renowned wildlife and environmental filmmakers, photographers, conservationists and scientists to create the ultimate guide to the natural world. ARKive is a unique online collection of the very best films and photographs of over 15,000 of the world’s threatened animals, plants and fungi, providing a stunning audio-visual record of life on Earth. This exciting resource is made freely accessible to all at www.arkive.org.

Over the past year we have also been producing free, curriculum-linked educational resources which can be found on the education section of ARKive: http://www.arkive.org/education/resources. There are currently around 30 free online ARKive education resources, each including teachers’ notes, classroom presentations and activities arranged by age group. Suitable for 5 to 18 year olds, ARKive’s free teaching resources cover a range of key science and biology subjects including adaptation, endangered species, food chains, Darwin and natural selection, classification, identification, conservation and biodiversity. We have also developed a number of cross-curricular resources which tie into subjects including art, English, geography and ICT.

Our resources are developed in classrooms in the Bristol and Bath area through our participation in the STEM Ambassador programme. Our team of trained biologists and zoologists turned media researchers work with me to create, design and deliver curriculum-linked science lessons to primary and secondary schools around the region, taking on feedback from students and teachers alike and then refining the resources ready for online dissemination to teachers globally. We have been sharing our resources on educational platforms such as TES, with which we are an established content partner, the STEM e-Library and Guardian Teacher Network, as well as several international platforms. We also work closely with key organisations involved in the delivery of STEM enrichment activities such as the British Science Association, and several of our primary resources are CREST accredited, offering a fantastic opportunity to engage students in STEM subjects. We’re currently creating a number of resources that will tie in closely with National Science and Engineering Week 2013, including the launch of a new and exciting discovery-themed science game.

We are constantly looking for new ways in which ARKive can engage with teachers, in the hope that we can make more educators aware of how they can use this incredibly diverse, free digital learning resource in the classroom and in STEM clubs to inspire students to see the real value in science. While browsing your website I came across your news page and newsletter, and I would like to ask if might be possible for you to feature ARKive and highlight our free resources for teachers and students? I also noticed that you link to organisations providing STEM-related activities and support to teachers and students, and was wondering whether you might also be able to include ARKive in your list of recommended STEM resources? If you have any ideas of how ARKive might be able to work with you in other ways to engage students with STEM subjects, particularly those relating to biology, conservation and the environment, then it would be fantastic to discuss these with you.

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Tony Gill, Director

STEM Cumbria Ltd. Lane Farmhouse, Crooklands, Milnthorpe, Cumbria LA7 7NH.
Office: 015395 67101       Tony Gill Mobile: 07977 512 109      

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