Across the whole world, insects are in danger due to unprecedented crises in agriculture and climate. Yet, insects play a significant role in preserving biodiversity and the human ecosystem. Consequently, preserving the conditions for their (and our!) lives is extremely important!
Taking action in support of insects starts with understanding their value for the environment and life on earth. Schools and educational systems can and likely should contribute to that.
The course will help schoolteachers understand the importance of insects for ecosystems and help pupils’ students take action to protect insect life.
Participants will learn about ecosystems, the climate crisis, and how it impacts insect life. They will discover insects’ life cycles and interactions with animals and plants.
Participants will also engage in practical activities using different apps and other instruments to recognize the main morphological characteristics of insects and small animals living in soils and learn to transfer the same skills to their pupils or students.
Furthermore, the course will focus on bees, and explain why the climate crisis is ratcheting up pressure on bee populations, and why we need to act to release it. Bees are essential pollinators of the biodiversity on which we all depend for our survival.
Participants will be introduced to specific board games that promote awareness of the complexity of global crises and its effects on insects, and that can be effectively used in the classroom.
This is essential to help students take action to preserve bees and other pollinators. Finally, participants will read and discuss the “Convention on Biological Diversity” of the United Nations to learn how the European Union plays an active role at the international level, helping to ensure to meet global commitments on protecting nature and biodiversity (EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030).
The course will help the participants to:
- Develop awareness about climate crises;
- Address the disconnection between environmental destruction and its relevance;
- Understand the importance of biodiversity;
- Distinguish types of insects;
- Understand the causes of insect declines;
- Define the interconnectedness between insects and other animals;
- Understand the honeybee’s social structure;
- Design biodiversity conservation actions for your school;
- Illustrate Bugs Hotel;
- Take actions to help preserve bees and other pollinators;
- Engage students in understanding and appreciating the world of insects;
- Analyse International Conventions and the EU strategy for protecting nature and biodiversity.
Day 1 – Understanding biodiversity and the climate crisis
- Introduction to the course, the school, and the external week activities;
- Icebreaker activities;
- Presentations of the participants’ schools;
- Developing awareness about the climate crisis;
- Biodiversity loss: what is causing it and why is it a concern?
Day 2 – Entering the small world of insects
- A look at insects: Can you distinguish insects and other small animals?
- Full immersion laboratory in the world of insects and invertebrates with samples.
Day 3 – Bees’ world
- Why pollinators are important to the ecosystem?
- How bees work: Understanding the Honeybee Social Structure;
- Causes of bee decline;
- How you can keep bees from becoming endangered.
Day 4 – How to take action
- How to help preserve bees and other pollinators;
- Bugs Hotels;
- Learning with board games: “The Bees Mystery”.
Day 5 – The EU biodiversity strategy for 2030
- Analyze International Conventions and EU Strategy on protecting nature and biodiversity;
- Round discussion.
Day 6 – Course closure and cultural activities
- Course evaluation: round-up of acquired competencies, feedback, and discussion;
- Awarding of the course Certificate of Attendance;
- Excursion and other external cultural activities.