The Manta Trust's Free Education Portal to Improve Ocean and Climate Literacy
With the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) on the horizon, the Manta Trust has launched a new online Education Portal where educators, parents and guardians can access free marine and environmental-themed lesson plans, games and resources.
The UK-based charity consulted with more than 500 teachers from 30 countries to help develop the most effective learning materials possible. The engaging, curriculum-linked resources have been created with the aim of making it 'easy and fun to bring vital ocean and climate issues to the classroom and home.'
The core feature of online portal is the 'Ocean Education Booklet', which contains 17 innovative lesson plans spanning 14 school subjects designed for use by students aged from seven to 14. In a statement celebrating the portal's launch, the Manta Trust says that it 'believes that conservation is interdisciplinary and that to effectively safeguard marine life and vital habitats, all members of society must be engaged, starting at the school level.'
The booklet, available for free download from the Manta Trust Education Portal, includes a Plan Guide to direct educators towards the lesson plans that best incorporate different curriculum concepts, as well as the UNESCO International Ocean Literacy principles and Sustainable Development Goals. The lesson plans span a range of subjects including biology, maths, languages physical education, citizenship and even cooking, with the accompanying resources available in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.
Multimedia highlights include an 'Introduction to the Oceans' video, designed to be played in assembly halls or classrooms to introduce students to the various topics covered by the portal. Others include the 'Ocean Mindfulness Podcast', created specifically for the Manta Trust by mindfulness coach MindLessFull to help students rest and rejuvenate their minds, and a 'Sustainable Eating' video, which provides an overview of ocean threats and sustainability.
'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,' said Flossy Barraud, the Manta Trust's Education Manager. 'Thanks to all the educators who have helped us to shape these lesson plans and activities.'
The Education Portal also features plenty of games and activities designed to entertain and engage younger children. including manta bingo, fish identification and mask-making, amongst others. Teachers can book an interactive 'Skype a Scientist' session for their students by making a small donation to the Manta Trust, which will connect them with a member of the Manta Team to learn more about the oceans.
Farah Khan, Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) Coordinator at Ashcroft Technology Academy, which recently engaged with the Manta Trust through its Education Portal said: 'Ashcroft Technology Academy’s virtual STEAM Club have thoroughly enjoyed and benefitted from their online sessions with The Manta Trust.
'Each session has been pitched perfectly to the current curriculum and provided the platform for a wider understanding of global issues such as the impact of human activity and climate change on biodiversity in the oceans,' said Khan. 'The Manta Trust speaker has been an excellent STEAM guest, absolutely engaging her audience and welcoming their enthusiastic questions and perspectives. I highly recommend these excellent virtual sessions.'
Check out the welcome video below, and to find out more about the new Education Portal, visit https://education.mantatrust.org