Communication and Learning
Prof. Raja Mohanty
This project will be exhibited at Design Degree Show 2015, 13th to 17th June.
The Little Explorer Bag – Reconnecting Children to Nature
The project started out as an effort to reconnect urban children to the natural environment. Urban children’s exposure to nature is largely virtual – through books, movies, and the national geographic channel on television. Children often know the names of plants and animals – they study them in their textbooks – but they may never have even seen them for real, might not have touched its leaf.
Hence, the focus of my project was first-hand contact of nature – for children to spend time in, learn, and enjoy the experience of being within nature. A pilot natural location of IIT-B Lakeside was chosen for study and as a location for my nature trail.
The process included studying guided nature trails by organizations like BNHS, spending time with children, and taking them out for nature walks. The concept of a Self-Guided Nature Trail (without a field expert’s presence) was conceptualized. The artifacts required for this nature trail form the contents of the LEB.
The Little Explorer Bag is a kit, to enhance the experience of a nature trail. It contains:
- Field guide – to identify the birds, animals, plants and trees
- Activity Book – Things you can do on the lakeside
- Trail Map, and certain additional resources.
All of these resources are specially customized to the nature trail at IIT-B Lakeside. They are child-friendly, and aim at giving children an enriching and memorable trail experience.
At best, the Little Explorer Bag can act as a trigger to generate empathy and sensitivity towards nature, among children.
Come, let’s take a nature trail together, this DDS2015.
You are in the woods. The silence around you is interspersed with the sounds of the forest – the shrill cry of the cicada, the sweet lilt of the Koel.
Hear your own footsteps – feel the forest around you, hear it tell you hidden storiesof the trees.
Know the forest – know the names of the trees, know the name of that insect that landed on the leaf in front of you, identify the weaver bird who just made that call.
Know them, as you know the names of your friends.
Contact us at the venue of DDS2015 , for more updates. It doesn’t matter if you’re not a child, but it embracing the inner child is mandatory.