Here’s one I made earlier…
28 February 2019 15:29
At a recent Leader training weekend the evening entertainment was an enjoyably competitive quiz. It included the question – ‘Which of the following wasn’t part of British Exploring Society supplies for early expeditions – gin, or a wind-up gramophone?’ Answer? The gramophone. This was a surprise to many of our Leaders – not just because they were startled by the idea of Leaders having a gin ration (and no, we’re not bringing it back) but also because the idea of making music on expedition clearly isn’t an odd one to our Leaders.
Our Expeditions produce art and poetry along with masses of science data and film and our Explorers acquire loads of technical skills too. Learning opportunities in the wild aren’t ring-fenced by subject boundaries.
This image is of a field weather monitoring station – part of the brilliant Freestation project being run by Dr Mark Mulligan at Kings College, London. It’s one he made earlier and loaned to us. If you look carefully you can identify 3 pet food bowls and a standard kitchen funnel. It has some fancier components – but is largely put together from parts you can order online.
Freestation has developed open source templates in order to make field science kit affordable – and more accessible, so that more people can step in and get involved in valuable field data collection. It allows intrepid learners like our Young Explorers to start thinking about the learning opportunities of their expedition much earlier – literally building the components of science projects for themselves before they leave the UK.
If I can get together £2000 we can have a kit-building day and build 10 of these before this summer to take with us to the Amazon, Yukon, Iceland…we can leave them in place overseas to keep collecting and transmitting data and Kings College will crunch and share that data back with us. Isn’t it a great idea? If ever you wanted a demonstration of the problem-solving creativity of science - I think the Freestation project does it beautifully.
We’ve just launched a new science strategy so that we can involve more of our Explorers earlier, for longer, in thinking about science and its impact on all our lives through projects like this as a part of their learning experience with us. If there are other projects like this you think we should look at - or if you’d like to get involved in this one – I would love to hear from you?