Environmental science is a multi-discipline subject covering aspects of physics, chemistry, biology, soil science, geology, geography, ecology and more. Environmental science can be summarised as the study of our natural environment and its interactions, including the impact of humans on that environment. So, how do you study nature? There are so many topics and subtopics to consider that everyone can usually identify some aspect of environmental science that is of interest to them.
Let us begin with children – they have a natural curiosity which should be encouraged along with respect for their environment and living creatures. There can be a steep learning curve e.g. you pull a cat’s tail often enough and it will scratch you, likewise stick your hand in a beehive or ants nest and you’ll likely be stung or bitten! Also, children can be cruel by accident – they will gently pick up a butterfly or ladybird to show you and unfortunately damage its wings so it then can’t fly. So, perhaps teaching children how to study nature through observation is the way forward. You can learn a lot about nature by sitting and watching, especially in a garden, park, by a river or down at the coast. So arm yourself and your kids with a container and a magnifying lens and off you go on nature walks. Handy items to take with you are a notepad and pen for making sketches, writing notes etc of the animals or plants that you see. A nature study book is useful too, in order to teach children how to use keys to identify different species.