Dawn and Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium launched a new national in-classroom and web accessible STEM curriculum called NextGen Animal Responders, which will allow teachers to offer fifth through eighth grade student’s five Next Generation Science Standards lesson plans. The lessons aim to increase students’ environmental and science literacy through Shedd animal rescue and rehabilitation stories and resources and provide a connection to nature and the environment that students living in an urban setting might not have the opportunity to experience.
In addition, Chicago Public Schools will be the first in the country to participate in an in-classroom roadshow and contest aimed to connect local teachers and students to the importance of animal care and conservation and show them how the next generation can take a hands-on approach to preserving and protecting animals and the environment. During the roadshow, twenty-five select Chicago-area schools will be visited by guest speakers and experts from Shedd, who will bring along engaging Dawn Wildlife activities, a contest call-to-action and materials for children to take home to their parents.
“Shedd has been committed to working with response and rescue organizations globally for over 50 years and the urgency to protect animals and their environments is greater than ever,” said Bridget Coughlin, Shedd Aquarium president and CEO. “Dawn and Shedd both share a similar passion for wildlife conservation as well as a shared mission of educating and inspiring the world about the wellbeing of animals, habitat conservation, and the health of our oceans. This is the first time we are working together to build care and compassion for animals that will extract curiosity and interest, which we hope will ultimately lead to interest in a new career path for some of these students.”
To celebrate the launch of the program, students at Telpochcalli Elementary visited Shedd for a hands-on science experiment and had a special opportunity to meet a member of Shedd’s Animal Response Team to learn more about endangered African penguin rescue efforts and what they can do to help, and participated in a penguin encounter.
NextGen Animal Responders is part of the larger Dawn Helps Save Wildlife commitment with an aim to connect teachers and students with a singular goal, educating the next generation about the importance of wildlife conservation.
“Dawn is honored to partner with Shedd on this new, education-based offering for teachers and students,” said Mandy Ciccarella, Dawn Communications Manager. “Demonstrating how our next generation of animal stewards can take a hands-on approach to help preserve animals and the environment is vital and important to the Dawn brand.”
As part of the program, all Chicago-area schools are able to enter a contest that will run for 11 weeks, beginning Jan. 17 at www.sheddaquarium.org/NextGen. Teachers and students will submit video entries to demonstrate their exemplary efforts in the appreciation of wildlife conservancy and answer simple questions about why preserving wildlife is important. The grand prize class winner will receive a special behind the scenes trip to visit Dawn Wildlife partner Shedd Aquarium to learn more about animal care and conservation, including protecting and rehabilitating aquatic animals.
For more information on the complete rules and regulations about the contest, as well as downloading the full curriculum, teachers should visit www.sheddaquarium.org/NextGen.
DAWN HELPS SAVE WILDLIFE
Independent studies have proven Dawn Dish Soap to be the most effective dishwashing detergent for cleaning oiled animals, heralded because it removes tough grease while being gentle on animals’ delicate skin and feathers. As such, Dawn is the only dishwashing brand trusted by wildlife rescue experts for decades. Since 2006, Dawn has donated more than 100,000 bottles of dishwashing liquid and financial support to its wildlife partners, International Bird Rescue and The Marine Mammal Center. These donations have helped these organizations clean more than 75,000 marine animals in the United States. For more information about the Dawn family of products, visit www.dawn-dish.com.
ABOUT SHEDD AQUARIUM
For more than 50 years, Shedd Aquarium has worked with partners around the globe to help animals in need. The Next Generation Animal Responders are a way to reaffirm its commitment to helping conserve and protect wildlife. While caring for animals affected by human activity such as overfishing, habitat degradation, plastic pollution and rising ocean temperatures, the team seeks to increase public engagement and advocacy along with inspire new individuals to make a difference.
To support Shedd Aquarium’s Next Generation Animal Response Team and their mission to rescue, rehabilitate, release and rehome animals in need, visit www.sheddaquarium.org/NextGen. You can also follow the conversation on social media via the hashtag, #AnimalResponders.