A writeup of our June 2022 Education Tour in the south of Chile
June 11, 2022
Directora de Programas
In April 2022, during the expeditions of the Fungi Foundation, we organized an education tour in the 3 principal cities in Chilean Patagonia: Punta Arenas, Puerto Natales, and Tierra del Fuego.
During this opportunity, Daniela Torres, Programs Lead at the Fungi Foundation and part of the education team, gave the introduction to our program and taught the first lesson of the FF curriculum, The Science of Mushrooms.
Educators and teachers were trained about basic mycological terminology, how to observe a mushroom, and the natural wood wide web. They also recreated one activity for kids and the general public about the mycorrhizal network using the resources on our website.
The teachers received a document of our curriculum to review together since the curriculum is not available in Spanish at the moment. The interest was magnificent and they can't wait to have all the resources in Spanish as well. Thanks to the experience of the Fungi Foundation in education issues, we were able to have complementary material for the teachers. Also, after every training, we did questions and answers and planned some activities to bring the mycological knowledge into the classroom.
Some of the teachers work in public schools where the resources are limited, so they were happy to have free mycological resources and they want to incorporate the knowledge in every material of the school as possible. Every school that we visited received the Field Guide of Chilean Mushroom (Vol. 1 and 2) for free access to their libraries and the educational communities in the city.
The 2023 STANYS conference in Syracuse celebrated fungi education with engaging presentations by Diana Richards from the Fungi Foundation. Teachers embraced free resources and received mushroom grow kits, fostering a new appreciation for mycology in classrooms. This marked a milestone in the foundation's mission. Stay tuned for more updates on their educational initiatives.
Help us unveil and recognize ancestral uses of fungi. We have cataloged over 200 traditional uses and/or relationships with fungi in 45 different countries, creating a comprehensive global ethnomycological index that incorporates available public information, in order to protect this precious knowledge. We are now looking to learn what has been taught from one generation to another through oral history.
At Foundry Montessori School in New York, Diana Richards from the Fungi Foundation led a captivating educational journey into the world of fungi for young students, fostering their curiosity, hands-on exploration, and creative engagement in a day filled with wonder and learning.