WDC is an international leader in educating and exciting people of all ages about whales and dolphins, and this summer we were the proud recipients of the ASCOBANS Outreach and Education Award. With offices in five different countries and a visitor centre in Scotland, we reach a wide audience and carry out many different education initiatives. This is the 1st blog in our Education Blog Series- Education With A Porpoise. Read on to learn more from Ruth in our German office!
Whales and Dolphins – True Treasures
I am one of WDC’s education managers and I visit school classes all over Germany and Austria to talk about whales, dolphins and the oceans. When I visit a class for the first time I often take my treasure box with me. This box is full of whale and dolphin treasures. Therein you can find a sponge, measuring tape, soap bubbles, diver goggles, headphones and many other curious things. Going through the different things in the treasure box is an interesting journey through the world and the wonders of whales and dolphins. Together we find out how small and how big whales and dolphins can become (measuring tape), that some dolphins use tools to hunt their prey (sponge), and that they have unique and difficult techniques to hunt krill, seals or fish (soap bubbles). In an experiment we find out how dolphins see their environment through echolocation (headphones) and when we go out in the schoolyard we draw a life-sized blue whale and a tiny harbour porpoise next to each other for size comparison.
I personally think that kids always have the best questions. They are still open to new things and they are not afraid to look at a problem from a totally new perspective. If you would be interested in a personal presentation in your school class in Germany or Austria, don’t hesitate to contact me. I am looking forward to your invitation!
Together with the help of kids I also host the website www.wale.org – a website designed for kids between 7 – 13 years old that presents a lot of interesting facts about whales and dolphins, games, competitions and ideas for actions to save the whales and dolphins on our planet.
For many years WDC has been very committed to carry out multifaceted education work because the youth is our future and together we can change anything. Beside my regular school visits I also develop and promote WDC education material. It is an important aim for our team to provide helpful education material on important issues like climate change, plastic pollution or the wonder of whales and dolphins in general for teachers all around the globe.
Working together with kids, I not only get the chance to tell them more about our blue planet, the oceans and their residents; I personally also gain motivation for my mission to create a safer world for whales and dolphins. Thank you kids!