As a member of the Heritage in Schools panel 2018 - 2020, I provide eye-opening bug-centric workshops and outings to primary school pupils in the greater Dublin area and Cloncannon BioFarm in Tipperary.
After a total of 18 months teaching environmental education to all age groups in rural Madagascar and several years volunteering as a leader with the OWLS Children's Nature Charity, I am excited to bring my knowledge of Irish insects into primary school classrooms in Dublin and take pupils outdoors to examine their local natural heritage close up.
Heritage in Schools sessions are subsidised generously by the Irish Heritage Council, making them accessible to all schools. Visit this link to view prices and see how it works or view my profile on the HIS website. Contact me to make a booking.
My work celebrates the diversity of living things, specialising in insects and their Irish habitats. I want to introduce children to the identification of different insect and invertebrate species, their fascinating biology and ecology and their usefulness as habitat engineers and pollinators. The pupils will learn scientific methods for sampling and recording insects, and get to know the plants and habitats on which they depend. I aim to get pupils actively involved in national citizen science recording schemes, contributing to the All Ireland Pollinator Plan, and working toward their schools' Green Flag for biodiversity.
I am familiar with the All Ireland Pollinator Plan, Natura 2000 sites, beekeeping, insect surveying methods, management and creation of insect habitats and shelters, Irish plants and their relationships with insects. To create really engaging, memorable experiences I incorporate my visual art and music skills into my workshops and outings. I have first-hand knowledge of wildlife and culture in Madagascar, where I recently facilitated the Wild Postcard Project, and I use this to give context to local Irish natural history and sense of place. There is also potential for Irish pupils to present their knowledge of local nature to the children in the Malagasy conservation club, and vice versa, through my HIS sessions.
My workshops and outings can be tailored to the following curriculum strands:
Natural environments (Geography), Environmental awareness and care (Geography/Science), Living things (Science), Story (History), Local Studies (History), Continuity and change over time (History), Human environments (Geography).
I also offer workshops and one-to-one sessions for children and adults in homes, gardens, secondary schools, community groups and direct provision centres, tailored to your particular needs, interests and budgets.
Nature In My Backyard (NIMBY) is a fascinating, customised, all-weather, bug-centric, one-to-one* exploration session for the budding biologist or green gardener in your household. A home visit from an entomologist-artist! Scroll down to see some options!
It can be as fun or educational as you choose, as scientific or creative as you like. The experience is tailored to your needs and interests - to help you make your garden more insect-friendly, teach children how to draw six legged critters, or introduce the gap year biology student to entomology fieldwork techniques.
A 90 minute session costs €60 euro, and gift vouchers are available. You can contact me to book a session for yourself, a friend, or a family member. There is something for everyone from 5 years old to infinity! What you see below are just three examples of what your NIMBY session might encompass.
*You'll get the most out of a one-to-one (or -two or -three) experience, though some of the activities are manageable with a small group and I wouldn't want any siblings to feel left out! However, I use valuable equipment (microscopes, professional pond nets, etc.) so I don't do children's parties! If the person availing of the experience is a minor, another responsible adult must be present.
Critters for kids
Know a child who is fascinated with tiny living things?
- Discover the magic details of their favourite bugs under the microscope
- Venture on a bug safari using a variety of sampling techniques to explore the diversity of your backyard jungle
- Learn the body parts of different insects through drawing
Considering a career in invertebrate ecology?
- Learn how to identify insects using a microscope and ID keys
- Become familiar with field sampling techniques and the diversity that can live in your own garden
- Practice carding or pinning beetles for a reference collection
Want to turn your garden into a haven for insects?
- Find out what lives in your garden and assess its conservation potential
- Draw up a plan to create habitat for pollinators, predatory beetles, and other useful insects
- Get to know your helpful six-legged neighbours under the microscope