The US Forest Service runs a magazine for kids designed to get them interested in science, especially environmental science and biology. They call it the "Natural Inquirer". A very clever name, if I do say so myself. (If you're not in the US, you can mostly ignore this post.) They recently sent out cards surrounding the different scientists that work with them. And I'm going to be reviewing these cards.
The Natural Inquirer Scientist Cards have lots of great things going for them. For one, it exposes kids to a variety of careers involving the environment and conservation and also expands the everyday citizen's knowledge about the Forest Service. And another thing about them is that they also show that forestry and conservation have many more assets than you might think. Biology for different animals and landscapes might seem obvious, but what about economics and the assessing of how the public uses resources? Or the study of how different climates affect mountains? And what about the idea that controlled fires can be used to manage forests?
As well as encouraging an interest in environmental conservation, let's look at these cards from the perspective of education as a whole. They inspire an interest in science, whether it's environmental or something like chemistry. They also can help encourage children to learn throughout their whole lives. In some cases, they might also help bring about things like a respect for animals so your child knows that they shouldn't catch tadpoles from the pond. (The If You Build It, They Will Come series on this very blog shows why catching tadpoles is a REALLY bad idea.) Overall, these cards are good in every possible way.