The Hong Kong Inter-School City Nature Challenge is a really cool learning experience involving students all over Hong Kong. The idea is for students to monitor and document the biodiversity in and around their neighbourhoods. Using the free apps iNaturalist or Seek by iNaturalist, students and staff of Hong Kong schools set out to find the most species.
WHEN AND WHERE IS THE CHALLENGE
The challenges takes place throughout November 2020 (registration information below). Schools will compete against each other to log the most species of plants and animals around their school campus and districts. It’s a great way for students to understand biodiversity in their own neighbourhoods and contribute valuable observations to further our understanding of Hong Kong’s urban ecology.
These types of projects fall under the category of Citizen Science which is effectively public participation and collaboration in scientific research to increase scientific knowledge. We can all get behind that.
HOW CAN YOUR SCHOOL PARTICIPATE
- Take photos of specimens in and around campus using iNaturalist.
- Identify as many specimens as you can; both WILD and CAPTIVE or CULTIVATED.
- NO potted plants or selfies.
- Take part during class, recess, lunch, free period or organised after-school activity.
- Use the information to teach about nature, classification or biodiversity.
- Include the weekend for parents and community members to join in the fun!
Schools participating in this event benefit immensely by helping students appreciate the biodiversity in their own schools and neighbourhoods. In addition, the data collected directly contributes to urban biodiversity information that we can all access. For participating schools WWF will:
- Provide a school talk on ‘Biodiversity Citizen Science’.
- Loan informative and educational Exhibition Panels for display at your school.
- Provide materials & support for ‘School Biodiversity Enhancement’.
SCHOOL PARTICIPANTS AND MORE INFO
Playtimes met with two West Island students who are participating in this challenge. Stay tuned for photos and our interview with these dynamic young minds.
If you’re keen to learn more about Hong Kong’s biodiversity, Kadoorie Farm is a wonderful place to go. Playtimes met with fauna specialists and learned about not only biodiversity but their snake rescue programme too. Kadoorie now offers private snake safaris.
Learn more in our upcoming features on HK Wildlife.