TUCSON — In order to help students develop an interest in nature while they are out of school, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has developed a curriculum for online learning, or just enjoyment, that takes them all over the world as well as their own backyards.

TNC is offering students the opportunity to learn how nature impacts everyday life through videos geared toward different ages, from kindergarten through high school, complete with teacher instruction. The program, called Nature Lab, features a free curriculum and engaging videos that can be viewed on computers and tablets.

Tracey Stone, TNC media relations director, stated in a press release, “TNC and its 550 scientists launched the new online educational platform designed to help students learn the science behind how nature works for us and how we can help keep it running strong.”

She pointed out more than 850 million children and youths, roughly half of the world’s student population, have to stay home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Though students cannot travel the world right now, they still have an opportunity to develop great passion and knowledge about the world through high-quality classroom content,” noted Stone.

There are a variety of age-appropriate and entertaining courses available broken down to suit grades kindergarten through fifth, sixth through eighth, and ninth through 12th grade. Also offered are bonus virtual field trips such as “The Secret Life of Corals,” “Borneo: The Symphony of the Rainforest” and more.

Kate Ireland, director of Youth Engagement Programs at TNC, stated, “As schools around the world shut down in response to COVID-19 and parents work to balance the demands on their time and energy, we know that students will have very different learning experiences over the next few months. I’m proud that TNC, with our newly relaunched Nature Lab curriculum, can offer families some support and open up new worlds for young people.”

Guided by science, TNC tries to create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to the world’s challenges so that nature and people can thrive together.

To learn more about Nature Lab and other youth engagement opportunities offered by TNC, visit https://www.nature.org/en-us/about-us/who-we-are/how-we-work/youth-engagement/.

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