On April 25th, 2024, DARWIN200 arrived in the Galápagos Islands for a three week stay in the wake of Charles Darwin.

They visited many of the islands and exact locations where Darwin made many of his greatest discoveries. Due to the significance this beautiful archipelago had on Darwin’s life and works, they developed a special programme of activities to take place during their visit.

They ran 11 Darwin Leader projects across the Galápagos Islands to train and empower top young conservationists to change the world of tomorrow. After months of careful selection and planning, they flew in 11 of the world’s best young environmentalists from India, Bahamas, Singapore, USA, UK, Brazil, Peru, Holland and Spain to work with inspiring local conservationists to study the preservation of endemic tortoises, marine iguanas, beetles, plants and many other endangered endemic species.

Each Darwin Leader undertook an intensive training programme that involves shadowing local conservationists to study the past threats and issues that their chosen endangered animal or plant faces. Each Darwin Leader also had to investigate the current conservation work that is being undertaken to safeguard the species they were studying, and develop new solutions, ideas and strategies to help create a brighter future.

Bartolome Island Filming – by Stewart McPherson

The primary goal of DARWIN200 during its two-year global voyage is to empower and up-skill exceptional young conservationists (Darwin Leaders). Through their intensive training placements, each Darwin Leader gains new skills and insight which they will take back to their home countries and use over the course of their coming careers in conservation to create a better world of tomorrow.

The DARWIN200 team was honoured that its project patron Sarah Darwin (Charles Darwin’s great-greatgranddaugher) joined them in the beautiful Galápagos Islands, and during their stay, they used their historic tallship Oosterschelde as a platform to engage with local schools, students and communities to drive passion for nature and conservation.

101 local students visited their ship for on-board lessons with Sarah Darwin about nature, science and conservation. 44 local children also sailed aboard the ship as they explored the Galápagos Archipelago, along with 10 local teachers who visited the ship and/or sailed aboard her!
They beamed out daily World’s Most Exciting Classroom events in Spanish and English to schools across Ecuador and the world, to engage young people in conservation projects, experiments and natural history stories!

In total, they completed eight live World’s Most Exciting Classroom broadcasts (beamed via satellite to YouTube, Facebook, Streamyard and many other platforms). Each event focused on a different subject and took place at a different location, from conservation of marine iguanas to the protection of endemic plant life. One particular highlight involved their World’s Most Exciting Classroom coordinator, Joe Grabowski, beaming live to children around the world amongst giant tortoises, so the children could ask questions and see the tortoises in real time!

Each World’s Most Exciting Classroom broadcast includes experiments, activities, live lectures with conservationists beamed from fascinating wildlife locations across the Galápagos Islands, along with a natural history curiosity of the week (which children have to identify), prizes and more! Taking part is completely free – see www.worldsmostexcitingclassroom.com.

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