Just a quick summary; I am doing my CI project with Birmingham Friends of the Earth; and I am looking at the waste management strategy in Birmingham and how different/better this can be, so we can ask the city council to make a better deal when the current contract comes to the end. It seems quite logical to expect to benefit more from waste (‘waste isn’t rubbish’); and also get local companies to deal with it (so to keep the money in the region and more jobs, etc.)
I have had some joys focusing on investigation into two things. One is about what other similar (in size, demography, etc.) cities are doing that Birmingham is not and could learn from.
The Eurasian water shrew is an insectivorous rodent that grows to around only 15cm long! Despite its unimpressive size, it has venomous saliva which it uses to temporarily paralyse prey, such as river fly larvae, which it catches by acrobatically diving to river beds. Due to their small size, water shrews have a high metabolism and must consume about half of their own body weight in insects a day or risk starvation!
Part of my project with the Ecologist at Bedfont Lakes is to investigate whether these tiny mammals are present along the river banks of some of Hounslow Boroughs nature reserves.
M y work with the charity has sadly come to an end, and the final product is even better than we expected.
This week we’ve strung together all the lesson plans and ‘water drops’ to actually form a programme pack. This has meant creating the information sheets and pitch ready to send the packs over to the schools, including fundraising materials, thorough explanations of how the scheme will run and outlining the key values of the charity. It’s also meant I’ve made a verrrry long list of things to do for the staff taking over my role, who will be in charge of producing the actual teaching materials: worksheets, presentations and lesson teaching guides.
It’s the end of week 3 and wow this internship is flying by. Thankfully, all the work we’ve been doing is finally seeming to make some sense and the random lesson activities have now been fleshed out into fully comprehensive lesson plans.
The week has been spent detailing lesson objectives, fighting with table formatting in Wo
rd (complete pet hate) and pinging ideas backwards and forwards to teachers to gain as much feedback as we can.
We’ve also spent time creating an enterprise project, designed for secondary school pupils where we will run a competition to engage students in an entrepreneurial challenge.
This week has felt like a crash course in ‘How To Be A Teacher’.
It’s been a week spent scouring the internet for tips, guides, lesson plans, activity ideas and any information that I can find on how to keep 7-16 year olds engaged and entertained while educating them on some really quite sensitive subjects. You would think this would be easy, given that I’ve been to school myself, I should remember this stuff, right? Wrong. How on earth do you keep a child busy for a whole hour?! And then do that 4 or 5 times in one day….
Somehow though, I’ve managed to come up with activities, lesson plans, games and exercises ready to flesh out into the programmes.
The first week of my internship at The Long Well Walk is officially finished and so far the programme has been everything I wanted it to be and more….
The charity I’m working with, The Long Well Walk, is one which funds and supports water projects in sub-Saharan Africa, aiming to raise awareness of the water poverty there and improve living conditions for as many people as possible. It’s truly an amazing charity, created by one man, Liam Garcia who had this vision to fight water poverty and decided to raise the money to do so by literally doing a Long (very long) Well Walk.
A big part of this week was consolidating attendance at the Edinburgh GEL summit. The invitations that I distributed last week resulted in a great number of responses and new signups for the event. Although the initial period after sending my invitations was fairly quiet, in the end the effort did pay off.
With the Edinburgh GEL fast approaching the volume of emails coming in is increasing and there are always event bookings to be taken and parking/dinner reservations to be made. This has highlighted the importance of multi-tasking, as I have been required to deal with these requests in parallel with my other set tasks.
Week 1- Internship in HIV Prevention and Surveillance (Positive Voices Project) at PHE
Following the success of my research proposal and application, I was awarded a Charity Insights Scholarship to undertake an exciting internship in the HIV/STI Department at PHE. I worked on a project called Positive Voices: National Survey of People Living with HIV (PLHIV). The aim of this cross-sectional study is to assess the behaviours, treatment patterns and healthcare needs of PLHIV. Therefore, in this unique project, people living with HIV are not only patients but also key actors which contribute to improving HIV prevention programmes, treatment and care services at the national level.
During my time with the internship we’ll be designing and constructing a sensory garden for a local supported living facility, funded and maintained by a charity called FitzRoy. FitzRoy is a great organisation I’ve worked with before; they focus on helping and supporting families and individuals with learning disabilities. For more information visit http://www.fitzroy.org/
As I mentioned I have worked with FitzRoy before, this is why I asked to intern here. While working there last summer I noticed that their garden was in a state of disrepair and so I proposed a project to my supervisor. I wanted to create a sensory garden.
The focus of this week was to put my research from last week into good use and start acquiring new guests for the Edinburgh Global Entrepreneurial Leaders (GEL) summit.
Given that the GEL is a unique educational experience, it is very relevant to school pupils and educators. WildHearts have a great deal of experience in working with schools through their Micro-Tyco for schools programme and the GEL is the perfect platform for maintain engagement with schools post Micro-Tyco. On this front, my task was to sort through past Micro-Tyco records and compile them into a single database, this made it simple to see which schools have taken part in the competition over the years and in turn the school representatives to invite.