Our students are surrounded by one of central India’s most beautiful forests, which hold a large number of species within their innumerable, beautiful shades of green. Through this workshop on understanding biodiversity, we wished to bring to the notice of our students the biodiversity of Pench and the important purpose it serves.
Beginning with a small challenge, the students named all the plant and animal species they could think of. A one minute challenge led to much excitement and long lists by every student. It is always comforting to see our students to know that our students are connected and aware of their surrounding. Using these long lists, Purvi and Sangita of our partner organization, Reniscience Education, elucidated the definition of biodiversity. It is exactly this- a whole set of species, big and small, short and long, marine or terrestrial that make up an ecosystem.
Using the example of a lunch, the concept of biodiversity was simplified. For instance, only a chapati on our plate does not have any variety. However, a full lunch, a chapati, lentils, vegetables, lends more variety a type which exists in our forests. How glad we are to be living in a world that is not only full of only one kind of species!
To end, we defined the magnitude of diversity through a game of cards. Using stacks of different denominations of 10s, the students were amazed by the number of species that exist in their forest! They then back out in the forest to discover different types of species.