INTRODUCING THE WELL WORLD PROJECT
The Well World project explores how different environments influence our physical and mental well-being and considers whether spending time in areas of high biodiversity promotes well-being. The Institute for Research in Schools (IRIS) is directly supporting school students in the UK to explore their own local environments.
The Well World project has developed from the work of students in Canterbury, Kent, who were inspired to explore the question, ‘Does biodiversity make us happy?’, by comparing the impact on students who spent time walking in a small area of orchard on their school site to other students who walked in less biodiverse areas.
Dr Ed Turner, Curator of insects, Museum of Zoology,
Working to make greenspaces around schools more
biodiverse and accessible to students has never been more
important. We are living in a world where people are becoming
more disconnected than ever from nature and projects like this
are a fun and engaging way to counteract this problem. Helping
young people to connect with local biodiversity and learn more
about it is a vital first step to engaging them in conservation.
University of Cambridge
Sam Goodfellow, Biology Teacher
Taking part in this project has been incredibly rewarding both
as a teacher, but also as a biologist. It has been wonderful to
watch successive sets of sixth formers discover the trials and
tribulations of taking part in real research from planning to
evaluation and experience the thrill of finding out something
new. I am now able to reference our research in the classroom
and pupils can experience the importance and relevance
of experimental work on their doorstep. After twenty years in
the classroom this experience has reminded me of my love of
science, not just my love of teaching it.
There are three parts to the research:
- Measuring the biodiversity of areas in and around school sites.
- Measuring the well-being of members of your school and/or local community.
- Share your findings with your local communities and develop plans for using local environments to promote well-being.
Through the Well World project we are excited to learn more
about how exploring their local environment can shape students’
physical and mental well-being. Their research can be used to
positively influence their schools and local communities.
A resource guide is now available in the documents section. An introductory video will be available on our You Tube channel very soon.
Professor Becky Parker
Director, Institute for Research in Schools