Teachers chosen for first Blake Inspire programme

Bridget Bear from Cockle Bay Primary (left) and Babette Maas from Owairoa Primary at the Blake Inspire for Teachers programme. Photo supplied

Teachers Babette Maas from Owairoa Primary and Bridget Bear from Cockle Bay Primary have been selected for the inaugural Blake Inspire for Teachers programme.

The five-day residential programme that ended this week had 29 primary and intermediate teachers from across New Zealand who were keen to gain a deeper understanding of environmental issues and deliver environmental education to their students.

Blake Inspire for Teachers is funded by the Ministry of Education with support from Ministry for the Environment and has been specifically designed by Blake (formerly the Sir Peter Blake Trust) for teachers who are passionate about developing their environmental knowledge.

The programme aims to provide teachers with experiential learning opportunities and develop their ability to translate the experience to their students to encourage environmental action.

Blake chief executive officer James Gibson says Blake Inspire’s newest programme is designed to reach even more people, particularly young New Zealanders.

“Sir Peter Blake wanted to reach every classroom in New Zealand to inspire our rangatahi to protect the environment. Blake Inspire for Teachers is a new way of achieving this. By teaching the teachers and developing both their knowledge and confidence so they can integrate environmental education into their own school programmes means we’re reaching more and more children,” says Gibson.

During the week, delegates were teamed with world-leading scientists, environmental leaders, experts in their fields and businesses to learn about topical issues such as climate change, renewable energy, biodiversity and ocean and freshwater health.

They were also involved in developing leadership skills through a range of field trips, workshops and exercises throughout the week; learning about climate change and taking part in a sustainable energy workshop with Genesis Energy.

Teachers addressed a range of topical environmental issues facing New Zealand, including biodiversity challenges and learning about the Predator Free 2050 goal.

They also participated in a hosted tour of Air New Zealand’s engineering base to learn about energy efficiency — both on the ground and in the air; and the waste management and biosecurity approaches by airline caterer LSG.