Can we teach biodiversity ecosystem services to kids of elementary school? I brought awareness posters made by my students, I brought my binocular and compass, and I made and brought hornbill puppets to the class. This was Inspirational Class (#Kelasinspirasi) program where we teach kids to dream and to hope, and share about our jobs. It was not an easy task as we only had 30 minutes in each class ranging from 7-11 years old.
Bring your equipment and you got full attention, particularly when you share how to use them. My binocular and compass won their heart.
Then I showed them the awareness posters. It was a good way to know whether we convey the right information. Pictures of durians, mango, guava were associated to the food item of bats. Maybe its true, that’s not what we meant. Bats are helping the pollination of the flowers of these fruits. No bats means no durians.
Despite my role that day as a one-day teacher, I really wanted to know how far they know about biodiversity ecosystem services. So, I made a fun questionnaire and asked the 5th grade students. I only had one question, have you seen these animals around your house? I put pictures of bee, bat, bird, frog, butterfly, and ant. I would expect that not many of them have seen bats around their house.
Here’s the answer from about 40 students:
Despite the statistical error (I used post-it and lost some of them, and they may fall to other animal), I think this was good results. This was from an elementary school at Depok, a satellite city of Jakarta. Although Depok is still known as producers of local fruits, some area are populous with dense housing and no gardens. Their answers means that most of them still live in houses with gardens. Although they were still associated domestic chicken to bird. The good thing was they can classify chicken as bird. Bats are quite common and they know that bats sometime roost in roof and eats papaya in their garden. They also said that they have edible fruiting trees such as durians, mango, guava, and papaya.
We all have missions. I have a mission as a scientists, a conservation biologist. I recycled cardboard for my hornbill puppets, our group decided not to fly balloons due to our concerns about waste. It wasn’t only about inspiring hopes, but teaching good things for the sake of our sustainable earth…..
PS: by the end of the day, I got text messages from one of the student. 5th grader Sultan asked me about where bats live. And we had discussion through texting about insectivorous and frugivorous bats. Pretty cool!