Blog / April 22, 2020
In response to the COVID-19 crisis, an unprecedented coalition has come together to launch “Earth School,” a free, high-quality educational portal to help students, parents and teachers around the world who are currently at home to explore the science and beauty of planet Earth.
Launched today on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), TED-Ed, and supported by more than 30 other collaborators including the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) and over 100 individual contributors, Earth School is a new educational platform available to teachers, students, and curious global citizens.
“Billions of children are currently out of school because of COVID-19. But learning cannot stop. COVID-19 has revealed how deeply interconnected all life on this planet is," said UNEP’s Executive Director, Inger Andersen. "I am delighted that UNEP, along with TED-Ed and other collaborators, are launching Earth School. Learning about the natural world will be critical to building a better and sustainable future for all."
UNEP is a Participating Organization in the Group on Earth Observations and is an active member of the GEO Programme Board. GEO has been supporting this activity as part of the Canberra Declaration strategy to increase global youth engagement with Earth observations.
According to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), more than 1.5 billion learners are impacted by the COVID-19 school closures. Earth School is an unprecedented way to engage students with Earth science with fun and interactive content. The curated Earth School features videos, reading materials and activities — which will be translated into 10 languages — to help students gain an understanding of the environment while considering their role within it.
Explore 30 quests for students around the world to celebrate, explore and connect with nature and the science of Earth. Join Earth School for free here.
Built for children and youth ages 5-18, it spans 30 school days that run between Earth Day and World Environment Day on June 5. Each Adventure has been carefully selected by a panel of expert practitioners and caters to different age groups. Each consists of a hands-on experiment and a nature discovery, many of which can be observed at home through a window or on a local walk.
In addition to TED-Ed’s own content, Earth School will feature videos from notable media organizations including National Geographic, PBS LearningMedia and the BBC with the goal of empowering participating students to be caretakers of our planet. TED-Ed creates free, video-based lessons on everything from animals and climate change to underwater farms. It is the educational arm of TED, whose library of thousands of interactive lessons — built by a network of 500,000 educators from across the world — spans all ages and subjects.
The lessons were curated by a team of environmental education experts who worked with over 100 contributors, including GEO, in creating Earth School. The initiative is in support of SDG 4.7 and the Decade of Delivery and will contribute towards the Global Education Coalition launched by UNESCO last month to convene governments, technology partners and leaders in the education field to keep pupils learning. As part of this coalition, UNEP will be exploring how this content can be adapted and shared with children who aren’t able to access the Internet.
For more information visit the UNEP website.
Explore and enroll in Earth School here.
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