News & Events

Why you should teach about forests, forestry and wood products

28 March 2024

Forests cover a staggering one-third of the Earth’s land, acting as the planet’s lungs by absorbing carbon dioxide, storing it in the trees structure (up to 50% of the dry weight of the tree) and releasing oxygen we all depend on. They’re a cornerstone of life, not just for the countless species that call them home but for human communities across the globe. Over 1.6 billion people globally rely on forests for their livelihoods, highlighting forests’ role beyond environmental cornerstones to vital economic resources​​.

The Daily Touch of Forest Products

From the moment you wake up to the moment you lay down to sleep, forest products are part of your daily life. The chair you sit on, the paper you write on, even the ingredients in some medicines, all have their origins in the forest. It’s a profound connection, often overlooked, that ties our everyday lives to these vast green expanses. This connection to forest products showcases the tangible connections between forests and our daily routines, making it a relatable entry point for students to start appreciating forests’ value​​​​.

Innovation Rooted in Tradition

The narrative of forests and wood products is also a story of innovation. From traditional uses in construction and paper to cutting-edge applications in nanotechnology and sustainable alternatives to plastics, wood is a material that continues to surprise and inspire. Innovations such as cellulosic nanofibers and cross-laminated timber are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, offering sustainable solutions that benefit both people and the planet. This innovation angle provides a fascinating lens through which students can explore the subjects of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), geography, humanities especially.

Beyond the Classroom: Forestry Education’s Impact

There’s something magical about stepping into a forest. The sensory experience of the sights, sounds, and smells can transform abstract concepts into tangible truths for students. Programs that facilitate these experiences play a crucial role in education, bridging the gap between theoretical knowledge and real-world understanding. By encouraging direct engagement with nature, these programs not only enhance learning outcomes but also foster a deeper appreciation for environmental stewardship among students​​.

Sowing Seeds for the Future

As educators, you’re not just teaching facts; you’re nurturing future custodians of our planet. Integrating forest education into your curriculum is an investment in a sustainable future. It equips students with the knowledge to make informed decisions about the products they buy and the materials they use, and the inspiration to take action. Whether it’s through science projects, art, storytelling, or field trips, every lesson on forests, forestry, and wood products is a step towards a more sustainable and aware society.

In weaving these threads into your teaching tapestry, you’re doing more than covering a segment of the curriculum. You’re opening minds to the interconnectedness of life and the critical role forests play in our world. You’re not just teaching; you’re inspiring a new generation to value, protect, and sustainably manage one of Earth’s most precious resources.

It’s our mission to help students understand the importance of forests, foresty and wood products for a sustainable future and to help teachers find the resources they need to engage and inspire their students to learn.

Explore our library of free, Australian Curriculum aligned resources here.

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