Volume 34, Issue 2, Spring 2015

Education Takes Flight


“Bats ROCK!” says third-grader Samantha Colaw. Samantha, daughter of schoolteacher Julie Colaw, became a bat crusader after her mother discovered Project EduBat, a newly launched educational program about these often-misunderstood flying mammals.

Project EduBat, the brainchild of Cindy Sandeno of the U.S. Forest Service, is a program aimed at educating people about the urgent need to protect bats and the places they live, especially in the face of white-nose syndrome, the fungal disease that has been killing millions of bats in North America since 2006.

Sandeno and fellow bat enthusiasts brought together a diverse group of agencies and organizations, including Bat Conservation International, to develop the educational program. Project EduBat is accessible to people of all ages and includes curricula that meet national educational requirements for students in elementary grades through high school. Posters, activities and presentations are available online. Plus, more than 30 educational bat trunks, whose contents were based on BCI’s own popular bat education trunks, are available across the country for educators to check out for hands-on learning. Trunks include bat skeletons and skulls, books, videos, brochures and materials to create a bat mural and other fun craft activities.

The online Calculate the Value of Bats activity caught the eye of Samantha Colaw. “Cindy pointed us to the EduBat activities,” Julie Colaw recalls, “and Samantha took it from there. She was so excited that she did a social studies project about the economics of bats and won first place at the school level.”

“This is just what we envisioned when we set out to develop EduBat,” adds Sandeno. “As a wildlife biologist, I know that bats are fascinating animals vital to our environment, our economy and us. But I also know that not all people think that way. It’s hard to protect something you don’t feel connected to, so we wanted to foster connections between young people and bats with high-quality, easy-to-use, fun tools.”

EduBat was officially launched last year during the first National Bat Week (Oct. 26–Nov. 1, 2014). The launch included a live educational webinar, which featured live bats and appearances from passionate bat experts, including BCI’s own Education and Outreach Manager Dianne Odegard. You can watch the entire presentation and access all activities and materials created for the project on the EduBat website.

The educational bat trunks are now available from nine U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service host locations around the country. Most sites service multiple states, so with the cost of shipping, a trunk is available anywhere within the U.S.“Bats ROCK!” says third-grader Samantha Colaw. Samantha, daughter of schoolteacher Julie Colaw, became a bat crusader after her mother discovered Project EduBat, a newly launched educational program about these often-misunderstood flying mammals.

Project EduBat, the brainchild of Cindy Sandeno of the U.S. Forest Service, is a program aimed at educating people about the urgent need to protect bats and the places they live, especially in the face of white-nose syndrome, the fungal disease that has been killing millions of bats in North America since 2006.

Sandeno and fellow bat enthusiasts brought together a diverse group of agencies and organizations, including Bat Conservation International, to develop the educational program. Project EduBat is accessible to people of all ages and includes curricula that meet national educational requirements for students in elementary grades through high school. Posters, activities and presentations are available online. Plus, more than 30 educational bat trunks, whose contents were based on BCI’s own popular bat education trunks, are available across the country for educators to check out for hands-on learning. Trunks include bat skeletons and skulls, books, videos, brochures and materials to create a bat mural and other fun craft activities.

The online Calculate the Value of Bats activity caught the eye of Samantha Colaw. “Cindy pointed us to the EduBat activities,” Julie Colaw recalls, “and Samantha took it from there. She was so excited that she did a social studies project about the economics of bats and won first place at the school level.”

“This is just what we envisioned when we set out to develop EduBat,” adds Sandeno. “As a wildlife biologist, I know that bats are fascinating animals vital to our environment, our economy and us. But I also know that not all people think that way. It’s hard to protect something you don’t feel connected to, so we wanted to foster connections between young people and bats with high-quality, easy-to-use, fun tools.”

EduBat was officially launched last year during the first National Bat Week (Oct. 26–Nov. 1, 2014). The launch included a live educational webinar, which featured live bats and appearances from passionate bat experts, including BCI’s own Education and Outreach Manager Dianne Odegard. You can watch the entire presentation and access all activities and materials created for the project on the EduBat website.

The educational bat trunks are now available from nine U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service host locations around the country. Most sites service multiple states, so with the cost of shipping, a trunk is available anywhere within the U.S. 

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