Forest detectives - understanding green giants
Under the term "nature deficit syndrome", researchers have been warning for some time now of various problems resulting from a progressive alienation of young people from nature, both for the children and young people concerned and for society as a whole. In cooperation with the German Environmental Foundation, we are initiating the project "Forest Detectives - Understanding Green Giants" with the aim of sensitizing children and young people in grades 4-6 in Hesse to the importance of forests and strengthening their awareness of this ecosystem.
Climate change and biodiversity loss dominate the media and yet remain abstract. The forest on our doorstep is real and very much threatened by hot summers, pesticides and monocultures. With a hybrid learning journey in the classroom and directly in the forest, the project contributes to ecological awareness raising and expands learning and knowledge competence through an interdisciplinary approach. For this purpose, age-appropriate learning materials are made available to schools and teachers, which can be used directly in the classroom.
All participating classes receive a poster on the forest ecosystem for use in class, which leads to further digital information on the Forest Detectives website. In addition, interested classes can apply for research backpacks to conduct experiments on site in the forest.
In a poster competition at the end of the school year, students can creatively present their knowledge about the forest.
An expert jury will evaluate the posters and award prizes to the best entries. The winners are invited to the closing event in Frankfurt am Main, where they have the opportunity to exchange ideas with forest experts and other students.
The project will be continuously evaluated to identify potential for improvement and to ensure the project's success in the long term. Interviews, questionnaires and analysis of the quiz results are among the tools used for this purpose.
01. Image: Source: German Environmental Foundation, Author / Photographer: Imke Hurlin
02. Image: Source: German Environmental Foundation, Author / Photographer: Imke Hurlin
03. Image: Source: German Environmental Foundation, Author / Photographer: Imke Hurlin