Published 16.11.2016
by Kids’ Own

Science Week: New Environmental Field Guide by Sligo children brings nature to the fore

A new children’s environmental field guide by pupils from St. Patrick’s National School in Maugherow aims to encourage other children to explore their natural environment and learn about the importance of preserving local ecosystems. A Beak like a Banana: A children’s environmental field guide for having fun in the outdoors published by Kids’ Own in partnership with IT Sligo Environmental Science Department was launched yesterday November 15th at St Patrick’s National School, Maugherow.

Pupils from St. Patrick’s took part in a project led by Kids’ Own with environmental scientist Declan Feeney from Sligo IT. On an environmental field trip to the coastline of Raghly, they developed their observational skills by recording details of what they saw, creating drawings and taking pictures. Back in the classroom, the children set up workstations to learn more about what they found and their investigations helped them to understand the value of looking after our natural habitats. The resulting book is an accessible and fun resource for children to explore the outdoors and engage with environmental, sustainability and biodiversity issues.

Declan Feeney, Lecturer in Environmental Science, IT Sligo, said: This book is an easy to follow, simple to use guide to getting outside the classroom and into the environment. The fundamentals of understanding and appreciating the environment around us starts with enjoyment. If we are to value and sustainably manage our environment we must first understand why it is important to us. The basis of this understanding is to have  connectivity with the natural world, and to do this we must enjoy what it does for us and what we do in it.’ 

Orla Kenny, Director of Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership, said: This project offered an exciting opportunity to work in a cross curricular way merging science and the arts together to gain a deeper understanding of the world around us.  The process of understanding our local area uncovered many exciting insights and questions from the children. The resulting guide offers an opportunity for other children, families and schools to take inspiration from these childtren to inspire their own explorations outdoors.

A Beak like a Banana was launched yesterday Tuesday, November 15th as part of Science Week at St. Patrick’s National School, Maugherow, with a tree-planting ceremony. Science Week runs from the 13th-20th November 2016. The book is available to buy from Kids’ Own online bookshop.

A Beak like a Banana: A children’s environmental field guide for having fun in the outdoors is supported by Sligo Tidy Towns, Sligo County Council and the Local Agenda 21 Environment Partnership Fund.