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Reaching beyond the classroom: Educating on the importance of the ocean

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Ocean Generation and SC Johnson, A Family Company at Work for a Better World, bring the importance of protecting the ocean and tackling plastic waste to young people.

Environmental education has never been more important. SC Johnson, maker of household consumer brands such as Mr Muscle®, Glade® and Duck®, and UK charity Ocean Generation believe that every action we take today, however small, will lead us to a more sustainable future. This starts with educating the next generation, who will become our future leaders and decision makers.

However, according to a 2022 SC Johnson survey*, almost half of UK primary and secondary school teachers feel the current quality of education around environment and sustainability does not sufficiently cover the topic, with only a fifth finding the current curriculum on the topic easy to use within their classrooms.

These findings drove the start of a partnership between SC Johnson and Ocean Generation, with the mutual purpose of providing educators and parental figures with resources to enable high-quality environmental education. Together, they are aiming to bring the ocean and its importance to young people across the UK through Ocean Generation’s Ocean Academy programme, an open-source digital learning hub, with a toolkit of educational materials and accredited lesson plans for teachers and parents.

In the partnership’s first year, Ocean Academy reached 20,000 students and introduced more than 250 newly registered educators to deliver the programme’s resources. SC Johnson has also helped bring Ocean Academy to 400 children in Merseyside, as part of its community engagement and sustainability work with Liverpool Football Club. The collaboration will continue this year through teacher training workshops with the club.

Throughout 2023, while Ocean Generation will continue to deliver in person lessons and digital outreach for schools and educators, the partnership has been expanded. The goal for this year – and beyond – is to further increase engagement among young people and provide ocean and sustainability education, both in and, importantly, out of the classroom.

With resources and funding from SC Johnson, Ocean Generation will launch residencies with new partners such as museums, aquariums, and other non-formal education settings to encourage children to become passionate about the ocean and tackling the ocean plastics crisis.

As one-third of teachers believed their school’s current curriculum does not inspire sustainability action amongst their pupils outside of the classroom, the Ocean Academy programme aims to educate young people, promote tangible behaviour change, and inspire collective action to tackle ocean plastic pollution.

More information on Ocean Academy can be found at bit.ly/myoceanacademy. Information on SC Johnson’s sustainability efforts can be found at www.scjohnson.com/en/a-more-sustainable-world.

*Research surveyed 500 UK teachers on their attitudes towards environmental education in schools. Both Primary and Secondary and fee and non-fee-paying schoolteachers were involved in the study.

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