Learning Journey Guide
Royal Zoological Society of Scotland
To help the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland with their mission, ‘To connect people with nature and safeguard threatened species’, we developed a Family Interpretation Toolkit that centres on two unique characters Ruby and Zed; a smart young girl and her brother from another planet, Zed.
Imbued with values that support interpretive messages and activities, this intrepid twosome are on their own mission to encourage visiting families to journey from empathy to action to understand that we all have opportunities to make a difference to wildlife conservation around the world.
To help them with this we developed a Learning Journey Guide called ‘Mission Earth’ – a fun learning scheme that both challenges and rewards the young visitor as they explore Edinburgh Zoo and/or the Highland Wildlife Park.
Through a series of cunningly devised tasks participants are encouraged to discover, understand and appreciate the natural world. More than that, ‘Mission Earth’ empowers the visitor, showing them that caring is not enough to safeguard our planet and that by recognising threats to nature and acting responsibly they too can play their part
A particular challenge for us was that the Learning Journey Guide had to work across both sites so it could not be site, animal or even species specific. We knew that, at the same time, tasks could not be too generic otherwise they would be ineffective, lacking strength or impact.
During the development process we found that this apparent restriction led to more open dialogue with the visitor. Dialogue in which answers could be broad and varied, allowing room for acutely personal responses and so achieving the fundamental interpretation goal of ‘speaking to the individual’.
While the development of ‘Mission Earth’ required some intense and lateral thinking, the finished print piece is very cost effective to produce. This means that it can be given to visitors freeof charge, adding value to the visitor experience without adding cost to the visitor.