Botanic Gardens Conservation International
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Education E-update

Volume 6 Number 2 - October 2011

BGCI Education Team

What's new at BGCI and in our network of botanic gardens
BGCI Education Newsletter
Welcome to the new look for e-update.  We have been out of touch for a while and you’ve probably been wondering what we’ve been up to?  Plenty! We’re involved in a new EU project, INQUIRE, developing educational resources on plants and faith, supporting botanic gardens to develop their social role and getting ready for BGCI’s education congress next year…oh and a few other projects!  With so much to do, we’re excited to share our news but of course we want to hear about your news too so please write to us and let us know.

INQUIRE - promoting Inquiry-based science education

INQUIRE project aims to reinvigorate inquiry-based science education (IBSE) throughout Europe. Run by botanic gardens in 11 countries, INQUIRE will support teachers and educators to develop expertise in IBSE, on issues of biodiversity and climate change.  Partners are  running 60 hour courses, starting in the coming months.
Visit the INQUIRE website to find out more, download resources, and participate in discussions on IBSE, and biodiversity and climate change issues.

Join us for BGCI's 8th International Congress on Education in Botanic Gardens

Join us for BGCI’s next education congress  in Mexico City from 12th – 16th November 2012. The congress will focus on how gardens can address all targets of the GSPC through education as well as finding a common set of messages for plant conservation.  To find out about the themes, register your interest and submit an abstract click here.

International Diploma in Botanic Garden Education

This unique five week course will run next year from 16th of April - 18th May. Organised by BGCI and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, will enable educators in botanic gardens to develop an education strategy and new innovative education programmes related to their institutional context. Find out more about the course content and sponsorship opportunities on our dedicated page.

Championing Plants at the Olympics

This year’s Fairchild Challenge/BGCI Global Competition aims to link plants to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Sites around the world are getting ready to run competitions with their local schools to encourage children to create wreaths using their national flora fit for Olympic athletes. We’ve prepared a promotional flyer for gardens to send schools as well as a set of guidelines explaining how schools can enter the competition. Gardens need to submit the images of their top entries to BGCI by Monday 23rd April 2012. The winners of the Global Competition will be announced on BGCI’s website and The Fairchild Challenge Global web page in May 2012. An exhibition of the images will be held during London 2012. Find out how your site can join in the competition.

Growing the Social Role of Botanic Gardens

For the past few years, a core activity of BGCI has been to help botanic gardens unlock their potential to develop a social role in society and engage more relevantly with different communities. Now, following generous funding by Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, BGCI is delighted to announce that it will be developing this work further. During 2011/12, BGCI will be offering botanic gardens in the UK an opportunity to participate in a project to evaluate their social role and receive a grant to run a small project. Gardens will be invited to submit proposals to BGCI in the next month. We will also be developing a manual about the social role of botanic gardens to share our experiences more widely. Watch our website for more announcements.

Can Social networking help move us towards sustainability?

We think it can, which is why we’ve set up a new BGCI Education Facebook page! We want to spread ideas and receive your feedback. This is your opportunity to let us know what you think and feel. Let’s work together to initiate social change towards environmental sustainability and promote respectful behaviors towards plant biodiversity. Our Facebook page is not meant to be an official source of information so jokes are welcomed too! Visit our page today and leave a comment as the social web is as good as the people who use it!

Tools you can use

GSPC Toolkit: BGCI has developed a toolkit to support regional and national implementation of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation.  A number of resources are included for Target 14, ‘The importance of plant diversity and the need for its conservation incorporated into communication, education and public awareness programmes’. 

Natural Inquirer: An integrated science education journal for students aged 11-14, . The Natural Inquirer presents the results of a worldwide effort to understand the world’s forests. Produced in collaboration with the US Forest Service and based on FAO's Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010 findings, this issue has new comprehensive content, graphs and pictures as well as lesson plans for educators and student exercises. It contains information from 233 countries and territories around the world.

What's in your education toolbox? Send us your most valuable tools or resources, and we'll include them in an upcoming issue of Education E-update.

Education news from around the world

17th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
November 28th through December 9th 2011, The Durban Botanic Garden will be host to the largest event ever held in South Africa. Representatives from 190 nations will meet at the Durban Botanic Garden during this period of time to discuss agreements to reduce one of the main contributors to climate change; global greenhouse emissions.
Let’s Move Campaign
The American Public Garden’s Association (APGA) has partnered with the Association of Museums, the Institute for Museum and Library Services and the Association of Children’s Museums to create the Let’s Move! Museums & Gardens campaign. This initiative, launched by First Lady Michelle Obama, is committed to providing knowledge, activities and environments that encourage healthy choices in an effort to combat obesity.  Gardens can join the campaign and receive guidance and support for developing projects that contribute to this initiative at

The forgotten forests project
The forgotten forests project is being run by the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh to highlight forests during International Year of Forests 2011. We’d like to invite you to contribute your forest pictures, videos and conversations to help us to show the diversity of forests, and the issues they face.
Beyond Learning by Doing

What we are reading

Beyond Learning by Doing: Theoretical Currents in Experiential Education, by Jay W. Roberts. Experiential education has been influential in a variety of fields from outdoor and environmental education to service learning and place-based education. This book provides a fresh and distinctive take on experiential education by exploring its underlying theoretical currents. ‘Learning by doing’ and ‘direct experience’ are catch phrases that often represent learning experiences in outdoor education centres such as botanic gardens. Educators will find in this book the stimulus to reflect on how they put these terms into practice and realize the variety of perspectives inherent in experiential education.

PlantEd Poll

It's quick and fun! Read this poll question and click on your response. We'll publish the results in the next Education E-update!
This poll:

What social media tools do you use?
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Click here to take survey
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