Did you see the results of our recent Under the Sea Recyclable Waste Competition? Our winners, The Kindergarten Starters, created this amazing seascape and took away our Grand Prize – a trip to the Green Planet Dubai for 15 students, sponsored by Imdaad!

Today, we ran our field trip to the Green Planet, and we had an amazing time! You can see more photos of the trip here – click on the yellow parrots.

Firstly, our very friendly and informative guide Peter talked to us about the rainforest eco-system. Our students were very clever – they knew all about the different levels of the rainforest that are in place. The layers of a rainforest, from the highest to the lowest, are:

  • Emergent layer (the tops of the highest trees)
  • Canopy layer (the branches and leaves of most of the rainforest trees; where most of the rainforest’s species are found)
  • Understory layer (small trees and shrubs able to live in low-light conditions)
  • Forest Floor layer (the dark, damp ground layer, where the rainforest’s largest animals are found)

We started our tour around The Green Planet at the forest floor layer, where we saw some very interesting fish – monkey fish (who like to jump from the water), dog fish, zebra fish and cat fish. We also learnt about how important it is to make sure that animals and fish get to stay in the wild – if people take these animals from their natural habitats, there will be none left for future generations to enjoy.

After spending some time looking at all the different fish, we took a lift up to the very top of the Green Planet – the canopy level. Here, we were greeted by two very beautiful young Hyacinth Macaws. We took lots of time to admire the birds, and Hyacinth Macaws are the largest of all flying parrots in the world! The hyacinth macaw survives today in three known distinct populations in southern Brazil, eastern Bolivia and northeastern Paraguay. You can learn more about Hyacinth Macaws here.

We then saw a colony of weaver ants, and a big tarantula – although that was only a baby too! Our guide, Peter, gave the students lots of chances to ask questions, and there was plenty of time to take photographs and wander around admiring the many birds and plants in the core of the biome, and frogs and insects around the outside. We were lucky enough to see squirrel monkeys and cotton top tamarins, and even a snake – though some of us kept our distance!

Some of our students were very interested in the different insects that you can see – and in some cases touch – inside the biome. The millipede was very popular, and there were some very large cockroaches for the students to see up close.

Unfortunately – and predictably – the sloth was having a sleep, but we saw plenty more beautiful colored toucans and birds, a Pacman frog, and a very handsome iguana hanging out in the trees.

Further down the biome, students were able to get up close to geckos and lizards, and to see some poison arrow frogs. Finally, as we walked past the final stage of the biome, we were treated to up-close views of conures – beautifully colored parrots – some of which were enjoying their lunchtime snack!

After we finished looking through the biome, we returned to the classroom to talk about what we had seen. The importance of protecting the rainforest was discussed with the students, who had lots of ideas why it was important to ensure the protection of species. We talked about the food chain and the problem of deforestation, and why it is crucial – for all of us – to play our part in protecting the environment.

Finally, our lovely sponsors Imdaad gave our students some Imdaad drink bottles, and we thanked them for their sponsorship. We couldn’t have run the trip without you, Imdaad! And to the Kindergarten Starters – well done on your amazing prize entry, and we hope you had a fun and educational trip to The Green Planet!

 

Imdaad, our Platinum competition sponsor, know the importance of waste management and recycling. As a leading provider of integrated facilities and environment solutions in the Gulf Cooperation Council, they have chosen to sponsor our completion as a part of their Be’ati Programme. This programme highlights the importance of a sustainable environment to schoolchildren. Bea’ti, which means ‘My Environment,’ is Imdaad’s flagship corporate social responsibility initiative that started in 2009. It seeks to inform young children about the environment and the importance of segregation and recycling of waste to make them active partners in the campaign to preserve it for the future generations. To learn more about Imdaad, please visit their website. We thank them for their support!

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