The OVID-19 pandemic could decimate external science and environmental education programmes. 11 million children are at risk of losing access to the health and education benefits of outdoor education Date: 15 June 2020 Source: University of California – Berkeley Summary: A national survey of 1,000 outdoor education programmes found that nearly two-thirds of the programmes are at risk of collapse as a result of the OVID 19 pandemic. The OVID 19 pandemic threatens the existence of national organisations that provide outdoor environment and scientific education to pre-schoolers up to the 12th grade. “The OVID 19 pandemic could decimate open-air environmental and scientific education programmes: 11 million children are at risk of losing the benefits of open-air education and health. ScienceDaily. The OVID 19 pandemic could decimate environmental education and outdoor science programmes: 11 million children are at risk of losing the benefits of outdoor education and health. Taking young people abroad, bringing them into contact with the world around them and introducing them to nature has many documented benefits in the areas of education, health and social affairs. Most outdoor education is given in science schools, nature centres, parks and zoos in the open air, not in traditional classrooms. The National Survey of Outdoor Science and Environmental Education Organizations was funded by the National Science Foundation and conducted in partnership with the California Environmental Literacy Initiative, the American Association for Environmental Education and Ten Strands, organizations dedicated to environmental education for all students from kindergarten through 12th grade. “Years of efforts to improve access to the benefits of outdoor learning and blooming can be reversed even if we can reopen outdoor science and environmental education programmes,” said Craig Strang, deputy director of the LHS. “Outdoor science and environmental education organizations are an essential part of the education system,” said Dr. Strang. A risk area: the impact of COVID-19 on environmental and non-scientific education These programmes target a wide range of students in areas such as science, environmental education, nature conservation, youth development, community building, social and emotional learning, professional skills development and environmental justice. However, most programmes are held in science schools, nature centres, parks and open-air zoos, not in traditional classrooms. This loss will be felt disproportionately by historically marginalised groups, particularly students of colour and students from low-income families, who are more likely to lose environmental education in their local school district. These partnership agreements could extend the geographical boundaries of schools and help them to achieve their learning goals, while enabling parents to return to work and provide pupils with educational, health and social services. Ideas include transferring instructors who teach and work outside K-12 schools to increase the capacity of schools to teach students within the social distance guidelines.