We’ve been busy running our crowd funding campaign on Indiegogo – raising money to fund our first ever Youth Environmental Ambassadors Program or YEAP which we’ll launch in the arctic this summer. So what’s a YEAP? Glad you asked… 🙂
The YEAP, our environmental program, is unique. It’s an environmental education program, but it’s different from the rest. How? Well, the core of our program is that we teach kids how to use photography and videography to create environmental messages. We will actually be teaching kids the technical and creative aspects of photo and video and helping them take incredible images of some of the most spectacular places on earth. And then we’ll teach them how to put together stunning visual presentations about those spectacular places as well as what the human impacts are on them – what we, as humankind, have to lose if we lose these places. Kids will give these presentations not just to their schools back home, but to as many schools in their region as possible. So they won’t just reach out to 600 students, they’ll reach out to 6,000 students or more.
As a teacher, one thing I think is REALLY important is to fully engage students in learning. It isn’t about just going through the motions. It’s about having students say, “Wow! THAT is SO cool!”. It’s about exposing them to things that they have never seen before, sometimes things they have never even thought about before. To me, this is where the real learning happens.
Engaging students fully in a learning experience isn’t always easy. But I think we live in a techy world with a lot of amazing new tools at our disposal. And well, the younger generations have grown up with technology and want to use it. They expect it. And so, with our youth education program, we’re using new ways to engage students, to teach them the tools of photography, videography and communication.
Here’s a fun way we’re going to do it. A few days ago on our Indiegogo campaign website, I posted a video showing some of the fun, high-tech ‘toys’ that we’ll use for our photography and videography. If you haven’t see our video, click HERE to have a look. We have a remote controlled quadcopter and a remote controlled rock crawler that we’ll be attaching Go Pro cameras to, to remotely record photos and video. And we’re hoping that next year we’ll be adding a mini-submarine into the mix!
Have a look at my video on Youtube. It shows the tools we’ll be using. But I want you to see the kinds of videos and images one can get using these high-tech tools. Here’s an example – a short video produced by Firefight Films. It shows incredible footage from above and below “ground” in Alaskan Ice Caves. The film, called “Bigger Than Life” was shot with a GoPro HERO 3 Black attached to a DJI Phantom quadcopter – the same camera that I’ll be using. And the quadcopter they used is very, very similar to my Walkera QR x 350.
Have a look at what we can do using some innovation and technology to create that WOW-factor when telling our stories about the environment.
If you love the idea of getting kids to use these kinds of tools to create messages about the environment and lessening the human impacts on it, click HERE to donate to our Indiegogo campaign. It finishes on April 9th and we still need your dollars to help us ensure I can be on the arctic expedition teaching kids about environmental education and using these high-tech tools to do the job.