Earth Agent Day Adventures: Engaging the Mind Through the Senses: Training Our Young Earth Agents

How old was the last glass of water you drank? How is wind made? Is it safe to eat dirt? Why not ask a seven (7) year old – that’s what we did.

From July 11th-22nd, the UWI-FDCRC held its first annual Earth Agent Day Adventures (EADA) at Mt. Lambert R.C Primary School for children between the ages of five (5) and nine (9).

This venture served as a pilot to our ongoingRe-Connecting the World’s Children to Nature Project. The experience was an exciting one for our six (6) volunteers and twenty-seven (27) young Earth Agents in training.

Past events - Earth AgentsEach day we explored natural themes from seeds to the sun, to nature at home. It was not about sitting in a hot classroom all day learning about the environment. Our creativity soared as we designed bird feeders, seeded napkin holders, and our own book about water from natural materials.

Caiman don't eat people...

On “Animals” day we had the zoo come to us through theZoological Society of Trinidad and Tobago. We touched the Caiman and Ocelot and learned that they don’t eat people. It was an important day of discovery and facing some of our greatest fears. We were no longer afraid to touch snakes, and we learned why we need them.

Girl with caiman On our trip to the Petrotrin Wild Fowl Trust we learned even more about our local bio-diversity and the proper ways to respect the animals found near our homes and the environment in general. We ate fat pork and looked for lucky seeds. We learned about the importance of trees, not just to us, but to the animals who find food and shelter in them.The fun continued with cricket and hula-hoop. At the nearby Aranguez Savannah the children climbed trees, picnicked and imitated animals found near our homes, or at the zoo. Children also designed their own forest and acted out their own movie scenes .


Much more than a camp...

The EADA wasn’t camp as most people know the term. It was an experience where all the senses were engaged and exploration and discovery were encouraged. It provided opportunities for children to enjoy playing cricket and “swimming” (in school puddles) on rainy days.

When asked if they would not get in trouble or sick they replied, “Noooooo, we have clothes in our bag!” or, “My mummy told me to have fun and she packed me extra clothes.” It was an adventure not only for the children and our volunteer team, but also for the parents and teachers who became actively involved in the EADA.

Child climbing a tree

Impacting our research...

Through this adventure we were able to develop appropriate ways to engage children’s interest and love for the natural world. Our research team was able to re-evaluate the effectiveness of the project, as well as re-design it to best meet the needs of our target audience.

Moreover, we were able to re-expose children and their families to the wonders of our environment. Children made new friends and learned how to treat each other and the environment. They taught us that to experience the world around us is always an adventure.