22. Lyme and outdoor safety for teaching children

Sarah is excited to announce a new Educator Resource for Lyme disease, and speak with the lead resource developer, Lauren Hudson. Lauren is an educator and parent with a passion for science, life and for going into nature with her students and her family. She took a deep dive into the world of Lyme disease to help develop an educator resource to help other teachers both learn and teach about ticks and tick-borne illnesses. Lauren recalls her own journey of learning about tick-borne illnesses from members of the Lyme Education Awareness and Prevention (LEAP) team, through her own research and by listening to the podcasts in Season 1 of the Looking at Lyme. 

Lauren helped develop the Educators’ Resource as a tool to empower teachers to learn and teach others about ticks and tick-borne illnesses. The resource consists of three modules along with three activities per module and numerous slides and images to compliment the written material. The initial resource covers information about ticks and how to identify them, what people need to know before and after going outdoors, as well as the basics of Lyme disease. She points out that it can be used not only by educators in schools, but also in other settings such as outdoor education. It has also been designed to be accessible to diverse ways of learning and different learning styles.

“It’s been a really empowering process to be learning so much, and to feel way better equipped to be outdoors and be safe.”

Lauren Hudson, educator

LEAP project by CanLyme

Find out more about our newly published Educators’ Resource!

Lauren helped develop the Educators’ Resource as a tool to empower teachers to learn and teach others about ticks and tick-borne illnesses. The resource consists of three modules along with three activities per module and numerous slides and images to compliment the written material. The initial resource covers information about ticks and how to identify them, what people need to know before and after going outdoors, as well as the basics of Lyme disease. She points out that it can be used not only by educators in schools, but also in other settings such as outdoor education. It has also been designed to be accessible to diverse ways of learning and different learning styles.

Lauren describes one of the many activities presented in the resource. For example, based on what the students have learned about ticks, tick habitat, awareness and prevention, students can create a storyboard on how to prepare for outdoor activities. She notes that learning how to do a tick check, or how to choose a hiking area are ways to be tick safe and tick aware. Lauren points out that the resource is divided into 3 categories with 3 modules each. In each of those 9 activities there are 5 central take away points called the “LEAP 5.”

“The second big take away I have from working on this project is just the courage and the knowledge that’s out there, and the innovation and the dedication that all of the various people have on the LEAP team but also out there in the world…it’s really encouraging.”

Lauren Hudson, educator

Sarah and Lauren recall the process of developing the educator resource, including the critical role of Graphic Designer Sherwin Arnott of Pink Sheep Media. Sherwin was instrumental  in putting the content together in a way that was cohesive, visually appealing and highly functional. Lauren also extends her gratitude to all of those who are dedicated to a better understanding of ticks and tick-borne illnesses. She points out that LEAP team scientist, Justin Wood, was not only a wealth of knowledge, but was able to skillfully translate and adapt that knowledge to meet Lauren’s vision of the resource. Justin is a tick researcher and owner of Geneticks, a Canadian tick testing company.

Provincial curriculum links

“With the climate crisis, with the current state of the world, the concept of being outside, being connected, having respect, taking action…we absolutely need to see that we are not above nature, that we are part of Earth…and when we create a personal and lasting connection we care for it, and when we care for it, everyone benefits.”

Lauren Hudson, educator

In creating the resource, Lauren was tasked with aligning the resource with the provincial curriculum. She notes that the material is presented in a way that meets the standards of school curriculum as well as less formal settings such as outdoor education. Images and activities within the resource can be printed out or previewed for use in the outdoors, or used in a variety of ways within the classroom setting. Sarah extends an invitation for educators and anyone taking young people into the outdoors, to join one of the focus groups to provide input. They look forward to integrating that feedback into the next version of the resource which will be released in the spring of 2021.

Lauren leaves us with an invitation to become more connected to nature and the Earth by spending time outdoors. Knowing that we are not above nature, and that we are part of the Earth, is fundamental to acting in ways that protect the Earth for future generations. In light of how sick people with Lyme disease can be, Lauren emphasizes how important it is to stay safe while connecting to nature. Thank you Lauren for taking the lead on this Educator Resource and helping us to stay safe in the outdoors! 

“The more that we are able to promote being outside, being connected, seeing the world and seeing our part in it, the better off the world is going to be for future generations.”

Lauren Hudson

Related resources

Aerial photo of Victoria and surrounding area in BC, episode 22 with Lauren Hudson.

Stay connected!

Get our updates and news

Scroll to Top