The Division of Global Programs involvement in outreach education goes back more than 20 years and continues to expand at the local, national, and international level. We consider outreach education to be a critical component of the scientific process and to the future of science in general. As such, it deserves greater attention by all scientists and funding agencies.
Milestones & Metrics:
– To date: Dr. R. Kyes, Dr. P. Kyes and their international colleagues have conducted 155 outreach education programs (focusing on primate conservation biology and environmental/global health issues) for more than 9,200 school children (K-12) in rural villages in Indonesia, Nepal, Bangladesh, China, Dem. Rep. of Congo, Thailand, Mexico, and India.
– 20th Annual Outreach Education Program at Tangkoko: In 2019, we achieved a significant milestone with the completion of our 20th annual outreach education program at the Tangkoko Nature Reserve in North Sulawesi, Indonesia in collaboration with Sam Ratulangi University and the Primate Research Center at IPB University. Tangkoko is where our educational outreach programs originated and, in turn, has become the model we use in all our other partner countries. Additionally, an exciting anecdotal finding comes from our work in Tangkoko. After 20 years of conducting these annual outreach education programs with one of the rural elementary schools in the village, we are now seeing an increasing number of young adults from the village – who were 3rd graders in our earlier outreach education programs – join our annual field course (n=21 to date). These young adults are taking leading roles with the conservation and educational activities in the reserve. This milestone was highlighted in a WaNPRC news piece: “Conservation Leaders of Tomorrow Look to Yesterday: 20 Years of Community Outreach Education at the Tangkoko Nature Reserve.”
– Local/National Science Festivals/Expos: We have continued to expand our participation in local and national science festivals, hosting our hands-on exhibit: “Animals and Your Health”. Our exhibit demonstrates the importance of field research, the close relationship between humans and the environment, and how animals can provide the first indication of future environmental and global health issues.
– “cp-Field Course” for Native American Youth: A few years ago, Dr. R. Kyes and Dr. P. Kyes, in partnership with local Native American tribal schools, created a unique “mini” field course (“college-prep Field Course in Conservation Biology & Global Health: At the Human-Environment Interface”) for Native American youth (grades 7-12). The course is presented at an advanced (college-prep) level to give students a feel for college-level lectures/activities and to inspire and give them the confidence to pursue careers in the STEM-based biological sciences. We are now expanding this unique training opportunity to engage a broader range of students especially those underrepresented in higher education to help promote greater diversity in STEM.