Mumbai: BNHS-India has tied up with American Alliance of Museums to track and study the mammals across selected sites in India, while also engaging school children and teachers in generating and documenting the related scientific data.
The project called e-Mammal will be implemented under the Museums Connect program of American Alliance of Museums. The e-Mammal project seeks to promote cultural understanding among children through applied scientific research across schools in India, US and Mexico.
As a part of the project, BNHS will select three sites that are representative of India’s diverse geography. These sites will cover schools from a big city, a small town and a rural area. Networking through the e-Mammal website will provide a common platform for Indian students and help them share observations and views with American, Mexican and Iranian students. With each site covering five schools with 200–400 students, BNHS will engage nearly 1200 students.
BNHS staff will provide training in systematic camera trapping and data handling and storage to teachers and students. Site leaders will be identified at each site to spread the knowledge.
After completion of the project, pamphlets of the outcomes will be distributed among participants and other schools in the region. Exhibitions of the camera trap images will be organized at various locations and selected images will be displayed at BNHS headquarters. Mass media and policy makers will be encouraged to interact with the students to understand and support the cause.
The project is expected to facilitate the following positive outcomes:
Students will learn scientific methods through hands-on research. This will increase their understanding of the subject, develop potential career paths and help gain practical experience.
Students will learn about the global cultural diversity through interaction with peers in US and Mexico. They can become cultural ambassadors, better prepared to work in a globalized world.
Students’ skills in working with diverse groups and bridging cultural divides will be enhanced, even as they improve their leadership skills.
Teachers will have an opportunity to network with museum staff and scientists, sharing best practices and offering teaching advice.
The database on the e-Mammal website will be strengthened, which will be accessible to any user, including scientists.
The participating museums in India, US and Mexico will expand their offerings to the public by way of the new camera trap images.