Teacher off to work with whales
A Norfolk teacher is set to find inspiration among whales and dolphins in Scotland this summer after winning a 2008 Earthwatch Award for Educators.Joel Rodker, a geography teacher at Attleborough High School, is one of 24 award winners from around the UK who have been invited by the international environmental charity to engage in scientific research expeditions.
A Norfolk teacher is set to find inspiration among whales and dolphins in Scotland this summer after winning a 2008 Earthwatch Award for Educators.
Joel Rodker, a geography teacher at Attleborough High School, is one of 24 award winners from around the UK who have been invited by the international environmental charity to engage in scientific research expeditions.
Mr Rodker will work alongside leading scientists as a research assistant on the Earthwatch expedition Whales and Dolphins of Moray Firth from August 25 to September 2.
He will be trained to spot and identify whales and dolphins and record data such as the composition and structure of groups, their behaviour and geographic positions.
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Mr Rodker will also take photographs for individual identification and join facilitator-led discussions linking the project research to the National Curriculum and exam syllabuses, and work with other teachers on the expedition to devise educational resources for use back in the classroom. These resources will also be made available on the Earthwatch website.
Mr Rodker said: “I can't wait to take part in this expedition. It is such
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a great opportunity to experience
the excitement and challenge of
real scientific research and then
bring that back into the school environment.
“I am looking forward to being able to use this placement to enrich my own teaching and inspire our students to want to know more about the natural world. Being able to see whales and dolphins in their natural habitat will be fantastic too.”
After the expedition, Mr Rodker will be given the opportunity to apply for a grant to kick-start an environmental initiative or school project.
The Earthwatch (Europe) Educator Programme has been running for 11 years, during which 600 teachers and educators have experienced hands-on conservation research on Earthwatch expeditions.