Environmental classroom gets students closer to nature
Last updated on 3/20/2017 Print this page
20 March 2017
Students can now get closer to nature after a purpose-built
environmental classroom was opened at Thwaite Botanical
The log cabin-style building can accommodate up to 40 students
at a time and will allow the University of Hull to extend its
environmental studies and outreach work.
The classroom will be used by biology and geography students for
fieldwork training and as a base to carry out research into the
educational benefits of fieldwork.
Student teachers will use the facility to learn how to teach
youngsters about the environment and run outdoor educational
exercises for schools.
Professor Roland Ennos, from the School of Environmental
Sciences, said: “The students can for the first time carry out
environmental surveys, collect samples or perform experiments in
the wild and perform detailed observations and analysis all in one
place, without having to return to the main campus.
“It’s therefore a one-stop shop for fieldwork and enables it to
be done in all weathers.
“The classroom will be used by many undergraduate and
postgraduate courses in biology and geography, and for teaching
PGCE students how to do fieldwork with schools.
“It will be used for research into the benefits of fieldwork for
both schoolchildren and students. It will also be used by local
schools, including forest schools, for field trips, by local
societies such as the Hull Natural History Society and Friends of
Thwaite Gardens for evening talks and open days, and for University
Students on the University of Hull’s Postgraduate Certificate in
Education (PGCE) in Science were among the first to use the
Victoria Scott, 21, who is studying for a PGCE in Biology, said:
“We have done some pond dipping, and bird spotting and estimated
local bird populations. We get to practice and identify the
potential problems associated with fieldwork before we teach it
Michelle Wormald, a lecturer in science education at the
University of Hull, said that many schools did not have the
facilities to practice fieldwork and practical skills.
She added: “This classroom helps to bring science alive and we
plan to open it to schools in the area. It has all the facilities
you would want from a classroom but in a fieldwork
Thwaite Botanical Gardens are situated just two miles from the
main University campus near the centre of Cottingham and are an
important resource for students studying environmental
The site includes more than 20 acres of beautiful semi-natural
habitat, including grassland, broadleaved woodland, an orchard and
It is used by biology and geography students for field trips in
subjects such as freshwater ecology, biodiversity and animal
- Schools interested in organising a trip to Thwaite Botanical
Gardens and using the environmental classroom should email Victor
Swetez at the University email@example.com