Bats are valuable members of our communities.They are good neighbours because they can consume their body weight in mosquitos! They are natural predators of many of the night flying insects that bite us and carry disease.They also help to maintain the balance of nature because they consume many lawn and garden pests.
There are a number of small birds that used to live in our meadows, marshes, and forests. Now that we have built our homes and communities in their former habitats, we need to enjoy those small birds to return and live amongst us. Small birds, like the House Wren (http://www.birdvancouver.com/b_house_wren.html), are valuable friends. They help control the spread of weeds by eating the seeds and they maintain a balance of nature by eating pests such as bugs, worms and mosquitos.
One of the growing trends in fashion is called up-cycling. Up-cycling gives old or discarded clothing a better purpose through a process which converts it into something useful and often beautiful.
Students have limited opportunities to learn outdoors. For example, one school representative reported four picnic tables for 1,250 students. So when these students might have times during the day to enjoy the benefits obtained from learning outside, there were few places to sit or study or enjoy a conversation. While picnic tables have typically been used as outdoor furniture, they are not the most
flexible or comfortable form of seating. Also, they are not necessary ergonomically sound or easily moved! Over time, schools would like to increase outdoor learning opportunities by creating learning spaces that support learning, healthy lifestyles, and fitness.
What is an outdoor classroom? It is a gathering place for teachers and students to integrate nature into learning within the school grounds. It brings learning to life by situating formal learning within a school’s natural environment and giving students the opportunity to get outside and experience nature.
“Children with disabilities are often excluded from or restrained in play activities because of the physical barriers of play structures and the surrounding environment,” (Ripat & Becker, 2012).
Organizations and foundations, like the Rick Hansen Foundation, recognize children with disabilities require active play opportunities.
Many schools have students with diverse learning needs. Sometimes, it is the simplest of tools or toys that can make a difference and support a student’s learning in wonderful and powerful ways. For example, students who have sensory processing challenges struggle to learn through their senses as the majority of us do.
NASA is preparing to send humans to an asteroid by 2025 and to land on Mars in the 2030’s. NASA has been sending robotic explorers to Mars for years with the intention of eventually sending humans there. Globally, teams of engineers, designers, inventors, scientists, and others are developing technologies and tools to help us achieve the goal of humans living and working on Mars.
Most of our building supplies come from natural resources—trees, stones, brick, adobe, etc. Unfortunately not all of the resources available are suitable for building materials. As these natural resources are being consumed, builders are beginning to question how might they use alternative materials or unusual materials to build homes within our communities.
There are millions of litres of water wasted each day in schools across North America. Think about how much water is wasted when you take a drink from a water fountain, flush a toilet, or wash your hands. A recent statistic suggests that almost 95% of the water that enters a home is wasted. We know, “783 million people worldwide do not have access to clean water. 6 to 8 million people die annually from the consequences of disasters and water-related diseases”. Clean water is related to health and wellness, and water usage directly impacts water quality and quantity.