Encounter Edu presented at the University of Michigan’s Galaxy sustainability learning exchange, a two day event focused on sustainable development learning applied to environmental science, practice, and policy. This year, Galaxy attracted sustainability minded trainers, educators, and visionaries from civic, professional, secondary and higher education arenas from around the world. By building sessions around living issues, a space was created for people with unique perspectives to connect.
Encounter Edu’s director of communications, Irina Prentice, presented on the role of sustainable development in the global education context starting at a young age. Using Encounter Edu’s experience of bringing critical global issues to the classroom, she described the company’s journey of developing a model of hands learning that shifted from taking students on remote field trips, to bringing the remote field to the classroom. This was achieved through taking an Edtech approach and innovating learning through educational live broadcasts hosted with educators and specialists. Bring the outside in or the faraway near, changing the model has resulted in a greater of number of students being able to actively explore global issues.
Galaxy 2019 ended with a screening of The Last Animals at the Michigan Theater with director Kate Brooks in attendance, followed by a moving spoken word performance by Sudanese-Canadian peace activist Emmanuel Jal. Brooks’ documentary follows conservationists, scientists, and activists battling poachers and criminal networks to protect elephants and rhinos. From Africa’s front lines to behind the scenes of Asian markets to United States policy battles, the film takes an intense look at the global response to the ongoing slaughter and the desperate measures taken to genetically rescue the northern white rhino, which is on the edge of extinction. Rather than ending with a feeling of defeat, Brooks offered ways to take action.