Karen Stadler

Karen Stadler

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About Me

My School’s Information

My Project's Information

  • Project Name

  • Project Discription

    Inspired by a photograph I took in 2012 of five rhinos drinking water in the Kruger National Park, I had five unique stuffed African rhinos made and sent them travelling around the world from classroom to classroom to raise awareness of the terrible rhino poaching problem, specifically in South Africa. Each class they visit has to participate by making entries in the journal that accompanies each rhino and add to a page in the wiki that has been created for the project. I have supplied the teachers with a list of ideas for activities that tehy can do for the project. The aim is to create awareness, inform the next generation, make a difference and try to save the rhinos, one classroom at a time.
  • What made you start this Project?

    I was appalled by the climbing poaching figures in 2012 and I felt compelled to help in some way. Being an educator, I decided to do what I was born to do - educate! I would like rhinos to be seen in the wild by future generations, and this is my attempt to make a difference. Education is key.
  • What portion of the community have you impacted through your project?

    This is a global project, so the reach has been local as well as international. The South African-based rhino has visited 17 schools around the country, while the other 4 rhinos have visited 65 classes in various countries around the globe, including Russia, Guatemala, Hawaii and Alaska, USA, New Zealand, Korea and many more. The number of students impacted by the project is almost impossible to measure. The response and uptake from students and teachers around the globe is astounding. What was supposed to be a 6 month long project has now been running for 2 years, with no end in sight!
  • What challenges have you faced with your project?

    There have been various challenges, the most difficult being keeping track of five little travelling rhinos, postal and schedule delays, and then also time zone challenges.
  • How did you overcome those Challenges?

    The wiki is where it all happens - it is the hub of the project and a vital part of a school's participation. The schedule was drawn up in a Google spread sheet initially, but now we use a Google form which works well. I use social media such as Twitter and Facebook to keep in contact with classes and to stay abreast of where the rhinos are. We have also used tools such as VoiceThread and Padlet to overcome time zone differences and for reflection. Where possible I have held Skype sessions and Google Hangouts with classes and some classes have held their own Skypes or Hangouts. It has been amazing!
  • What have you achieved through your project?

    I have definitely raised awareness of this terrible issue amongst children and teachers, who might not have heard about rhino poaching and why it is done. There is a global converation going on and this project has become a talking point across the globe. It is now well known and often asked or spoken about. An unplanned bonus is that some of the classes have held fundraising events and made donations to rhino poaching foundations such as Chipembere. This was not the aim of the project, but it was much appreciated.
  • Have you raised money through partnerships for your projects?