Friday, September 19, 2014

A social media experiment

Boxes waiting to be picked up
The School Malaise Trap Program is up and running again!

Last week boxes filled with Malaise traps and supplies went out to 60 schools across Canada. Starting next week classrooms will collect insects on their school yards and we will be helping them by barcoding some of their finds. 

It is the 4th run of this very successful educational program and this time we were seriously oversubscribed. For the 60 slots we have available over 150 schools applied and our only marketing was a single email during the summer break announcing it to principals and teachers in Canada. For the first time we offered it outside of Ontario and as you can see from the map we have quite a few schools from other provinces.

We've also started an experiment with social media by inviting all participating classrooms to blog about their experiences. The blog on the programs website is also intended to stimulate dialog between the different schools which in some cases are more than 5000 km away from each other.

The main reason to limit the number of participating schools is limited amounts of funding available to us. For the same reason we are not offering it outside of Canada so far although it would be fairly straightforward to do so. I have been overseeing this project for 2 years now and every time I was amazed how much it meant to the kids to be able to participate at such a program. Part of my job is to pass on some of that excitement to people that are looking for new, meaningful ways to invest their money. Fingers crossed for the coming years.

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