Six Months of Progress: Fungi Education Program Reaches New Heights

June 16, 2023

Diana Richards

FFungi Staff

Education Lead

FFungi Volunteer

As part of our commitment to spreading awareness and knowledge about the fascinating world of fungi, we are thrilled to share the remarkable progress made by our Fungi Education (FE) Program over the past six months. Our global reach and enrollments, expansion of educational resources, successful outreach efforts and collaborative initiatives have propelled our program to new heights. Join us as we provide an update on the significant milestones achieved and the positive impact we've had on students and educators worldwide.

Global Reach and Enrollments:

Our Fungi Education resources, which include the FF Curriculum and K-5 Activities, have garnered tremendous interest worldwide. We are delighted to announce that we have had over 2,800 enrollments from 76 countries. The growth in enrollment has been exceptional, rising 40% from approximately 2,000 to 2,800 since January 2023. The enthusiasm shown by learners from diverse backgrounds reflects the universal appeal and relevance of our educational materials.

Expanding Our Frontiers:

One of our proudest achievements in the past six months is the completion of the Spanish translation of the FF Curriculum. We recently published and announced the availability of our FF Curriculum translated into Spanish, ensuring that even more children can benefit from our educational materials. Additionally, we have made significant strides in promoting accessibility by beginning the process of translating the curriculum into Portuguese.

Collaborative Initiatives:

Collaborating with North Spore, a renowned mushroom cultivation company, we distributed approximately 75 free mushroom grow kit coupons to educators throughout the USA. This collaboration has enhanced hands-on learning experiences for teachers and students alike. Furthermore, we have successfully established our presence on social media by creating the Fungi Education Facebook page and actively engaging with 15 teacher groups. This engagement allows us to share valuable resources, updates, and foster a vibrant community of educators passionate about fungi education.

Impactful Classroom Experiences:

During the month of February, our Education Lead had the opportunity to teach lessons from our curriculum to four fifth-grade classes in New Jersey. Over 100 students thoroughly enjoyed learning about mycelium and the interconnectedness between plants and fungi. The students had a hands-on experience, breaking apart mushroom grow kits donated by North Spore to observe mycelium up close. After studying the Flora, Fauna, and Funga chapter from our Fungus Files resources, the students engaged in a fun activity creating their own "Flora, Fauna, Funga, or Fiction?" fortune tellers. Witnessing the students' enthusiasm and realization that fungi are distinct from plants reaffirmed the importance of our program in fostering scientific curiosity and understanding.

As we reflect on the last six months of progress, it is evident that our Fungi Education Program has made significant strides in achieving its objectives. With global reach and enrollments continuing to grow, expanded educational resources, successful outreach efforts, exceeding key performance indicators, and collaborative initiatives, we are proud of the positive impact we have had on students and educators worldwide. Our commitment to fungi education remains unwavering, and we are excited to continue our journey, inspiring the next generation of mycologists and fostering a deeper appreciation for the hidden world beneath our feet.

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Educators and students in Chile were donated our field guide to use while exploring the outdoors and learning about fungi. Credit: Sara Undurraga, Colegio Pucón

5th grade students in this New Jersey (USA) elementary school learned all about fungi and the many differences between fauna, flora, and funga!