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.
Fungi may hold the key to reversing what we’ve broken, but we only know about a tiny fraction of all the biodiversity and magic of this kingdom. They are plants’ best friends, they heal us, they are responsible for numerous scrumptious foods, and they make sustainable biomaterials. We owe them life as we know it and we could not exist without them. On this #EarthDay we chose ten reasons why fungi are crucial for life on the planet.
The discovery of wide genetic variety in fungal species previously thought to belong to the same evolutionary lineages, termed “cryptic species' ', has prompted scientists to re-visit traditional scientific naming systems and call for more research into fungi taxonomy. But what is the best way to reconcile traditional scientific naming systems with new methods of species identification?