This summer my learning project for my daughter is to learn basic biology. We are concentrating on the biological kingdoms:animals, plants, protists, bacteria, fungi, viruses. I have always found taxonomy fascinating and I love sharing my knowledge with her.
I am learning two things so far. First, as an animal activist I have always known we need to protect all animals, whether they are helpful to us or not. Yes, this includes parasitic animals. Even they have their place, although preferably not in my house or (yikes) in my person. However, I am also learning that all life has its place. Yes, humans are members of the animal kingdom and thus protecting animals should be our focus, but we need to protect the environment for all life. A plant disappearing is just as bad as an animal disapearing. We need “good” bacteria and “good” viruses. Protists provide soil and water with nutrients. Fungi are yummy to eat…yay mushrooms! The fact is that all life keeps other life on Earth in balance.
The second thing I am learning is that I wish girls were given more opportunities in science. I have always loved biology but in school didn’t do well in it. I really wish schools would help girls see that science includes them too. STEM is a good step, but more needs to be done to encourage girls to become scientists. Here is hoping my at-home summer program does that for my daughter.