An educator with a passion for getting children emotionally invested in saving the ice caps gave a lesson to students as a polar bear hovered over his shoulder.
Gavin McCormack is trying to bring the “amazing natural phenomena” to the fingertips of children in a bid to get them to help stop rising sea levels and become passionate about climate change.
“The future belongs to those who sit within our classrooms and our goal is the empower the students of today to create a sustainable tomorrow,” McCormack told NCA Newswire.
The primary school teacher decided to jump in headfirst to his teachings and spent ten days on an ice breaker heading towards the North Pole.
On the first day at sea, a polar bear climbed out of the water right in front of him and onto an island where it was attacked by a group of arctic terns.
“Each day is different but so interesting,” McCormack said.
This week, his biggest dream came true.
“My dream was to teach children about the wonder of a polar bear with one right over my shoulder, and this week that dream came true,” McCormack said.
He said the most memorable moment while in the arctic was when his ship reached the pack ice.
“The ship crunched through the ice as we reached 82 degrees north and the noise was deafening,” he said.
“Later that day we swam in the ocean and goodness me, my toes are still warming up.”
Earlier this week he returned home for the launch of his new course “be the change”, which is free to all schools nationwide.
“Be the Change” is designed to empower children, families and communities around the world to enact change and make global impacts.
“It takes a curriculum-aligned approach to developing tangible action to improve the world in meaningful ways,” Mr. McCormack said.
In January he hopes to go to Antarctica to teach children about the emperor penguin, the leap and seal.
McCormack hopes to teach the “leaders of tomorrow” to include nature and the climate in every decision they make.
Another course begins on October 10 named “it starts with you”, with the hopes of bringing purposeful education to as many children as possible.
“Working alongside teachers, schools and students, we believe that when children are empowered to make real choices about the future, the skills for life are developed not through listening to someone tell you about them, but through experience,” McCormack said.
You can follow Mr. McCormack’s journey here.
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