Environmental Awareness Class
The company organizes environmental awareness classes at elementary schools using “bidi,” a card game it created to introduce endangered species. These are part of Shimadzu Corporation’s “E-club” activities that familiarize and teach children about biodiversity and its importance.
The “E-club” is an environmental education initiative launched in 1999 by female environmental activists at Shimadzu Corporation. This initiative first began by supporting environmental awareness classes, but since 2007, the club has begun to conduct its own environmental awareness classes to teach children about the global environment and biodiversity using a game they developed featuring pictures of endangered species called bidi – “bi” from “bio” and “di” from “diversity.” This game was developed based on the Red List published by IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature).
The company has already held these classes for 4,469 students at 72 schools and this game is being used at events organized by local governments. Many families enjoy playing the game and learning about endangered species.
During the first part of these classes they discuss questions such as, “What is biodiversity?” and “When organisms become extinct, how does this affect the global environment?” using a Powerpoint presentation. The second part involves playing “bidi,” a game that teaches children about what species live in which part of the world, and why they are threatened with extinction and also how these species may be protected from extinction.
Through these activities, the company hopes that children as well as teachers and parents will begin to see biodiversity as a more immediate problem. In the future, it aims to extend this environmental education program to children in lower grades and kindergarten so that they can learn about wildlife and the environment.
Children who have taken part have said that they talk about the environment at home more often and that they want to learn more about biodiversity. The university, which cooperated in the development of the card game, stated that the development of the game also helped improve university students’ communication skills and helped foster confidence.