Getting to know....Connor Launder
A blog post by Connor Launder
- #ScotClimateWeek - our impacts and actions
- Protecting the sand and sea
- Another fine mess – part one
- Designing a lower carbon Scotland
- Getting to know... Lisa Snedden
- Combating climate change with information, education and training
- Litter picking 500 miles was always Gonna Be easy
- 7K for 7 Flags Challenge
- Littering less at St Joseph's Primary School in Glasgow
- Smashing litter picking targets during an unexpected stay in Scotland
- Keeping our communities beautiful
- Celebrating our brilliant volunteers
- Designing a pocket garden
- Getting to know... Nicola Smith
- East Haven Together
- It’s time to litter-ly turn anger into action
- Working in partnership to give communities a helping hand to clean up Scotland
- Why Beautiful Scotland is important to Lauder in Bloom
- We can all be climate ready
- Climate Ready Classrooms at Speyside High School
- Taking part in It's Your Neighbourhood
- Bags of opportunity for good
- Getting to know... Eve Keepax
- Lucky to live here
- A year of opportunity ahead
- How I’m trying to waste less this Christmas
- Unmasking a looming litter emergency
- Getting to know... Brian Rae
- A Canal College® journey
- Volunteering during a pandemic
- Applauding the unsung heroes who manage our award winning parks and beaches
- Socially distant but learning together
- Getting to know.......Lisa Snedden
- Waste vs the pandemic: finding a new normal for single-use cups
- Now is the time to change
- Could the Global Goals provide a framework for the green recovery?
- Our incredible Beautiful Scotland and It’s Your Neighbourhood community
- Getting to know our people behind Climate Ready Classrooms
- Lockdown litter - a community view
- Looking after beaches
- Time for a more sustainable future, a greener and fairer one for all
- Getting to know.....Claire Gibson
- The Origins of George Wyllie's 'Original Earth Guarantee'
- Getting to know... Aoife Hutton
- National disgrace of lockdown litter
- The healing power of local places
- Tackling Covid-19 and climate change at a community level
- Amid the Coronavirus crisis the climate emergency has not gone away
- Bringing environmental education home
- #TurdTag – getting creative to tackle dog poo
- Preparing young people to take action on climate change
- Running on community power
- Reconnecting with nature
- Coronavirus isn't an excuse - flytipping is still a crime
- Sowing seeds of hope in our community
- Hope for the environment post-Coronavirus?
- From Eco-School Committee to environmental charity
- You can’t tackle the climate crisis unless you are climate ready
- Why everyone wins when you take part in Beautiful Scotland
- Entering our third decade with a splash
- Is 2020 the year for a circular economy in Scotland?
- A year in the life of: the campaigns and innovation team
- Scottish Partnership Against Rural Crime
- Setting sail: all aboard the partnership
- Free wheeling
- Scotland is thirsty for change
- This #ScotClimateWeek, are you ready to pledge?
- Upstream Battle at Whinhill Primary School
- Elaine Hopley on our Upstream Battle week of action
- 20 September climate strikes: what took place and what happens now?
- Playing our part to reduce cup waste
- The funeral of a glacier: time to pull the emergency brake
- Get your Paws on Plastic
- It’s time to take action to reverse climate change
- Monitoring litter to help keep Scotland beautiful
- Tackling Our Unsustainable Cup Consumption
- Cups hitting the ground: what we learned at TRNSMT Festival
- We All Have To Fight The UpStream Battle
- It's rubbish that people have to clean up after litter bugs
- The power of pocket gardens
- Registering your clean up makes a difference
- Tackling climate change starts at home
- Speaking the language of Carbon Literacy
- The life of a Keep Scotland Beautiful intern
- Wheatley Group: two years on and still going strong
- Roadside Litter: Think twice before you chuck
- Our citizen scientists are ready to make waves for Upstream Battle
- Taking a stand on climate change – what actions will you take?
- The Cup Movement will tackle our litter culture head on
- Working across borders to tackle climate change
- Celebrating 25 years of Eco-Schools in Scotland
- Climate change – it’s personal
- Putting young people first for our environment at Keep Scotland Beautiful
- Treading lightly – steps to lower our carbon footprint
- Aunty Babs washes her spoon and so should you
- Climate change: we can all do our bit
- Have yourself a green Christmas
- Shifting up a gear on Scotland’s roadside litter problem
- It’s time to consign our litter problem to the dustbin of history
- We can save our seas by starting at home
- Everyone can do their bit to protect the world – what’s your Goal?
The 12 August 2020 is the designated UN International Youth Day so it is fitting that we speak to Connor Launder, one of our Education and Learning Officers about his journey from intern to lead for our Young Reporters for the Environment programme.
I’m Connor and I’m currently an Education and Learning Officer at Keep Scotland Beautiful, and this is just a bit about me, how I went from an Environmental Science Student, to an intern, to delivering educational courses to hundreds of pupils during the coronavirus pandemic. It’s been an interesting 10 months, that’s for sure.
I started working with the charity in August 2019 as intern. I was straight out of university and looking for my first 'proper' job doing something a little more meaningful than serving pints or delivering food on my bike. I found the role through Adopt-an-Intern, a fabulous service in Scotland that hooks graduates up with organisations looking to develop young people and offer interesting positions. After being passed up for a communications intern role, I had a stab at the ‘Learning for Sustainability Intern’ which was a ridiculous title, but apparently not ridiculous enough to deter me. I can only assume that my current manager took pity on me, applying for two internships at the charity in short succession, and decided to hire me.
My main responsibilities revolve around an international initiative, the Young Reporters for the Environment programme, for which I am responsible in Scotland. Young Reporters is an outlet for young people to express themselves and their opinions on environmental issues that matter to them. I help them to achieve this by managing, developing and delivering the initiative in the best ways that I can.
Like most things over the past few months, what with that pandemic happening and much of our societal life changing dramatically over a short period of time, Young Reporters has had to adapt quickly too.
Somehow, with limited teaching experience but great support from the wider education team, I managed to create a five week-long online course based on the Young Reporters programme. The aim was that those who completed the course would submit an entry to the Young Reporters Scotland competition. Over 70 children and young people actively participated and worked towards building their reporting skills as well as understanding some of the more nuanced impacts of climate change.
Along the way, we taught writing techniques such as PEE (Point, Evidence, Explain), how to create an informative photograph caption, how to use photography to tell a story, and how to get the most out of a smartphone camera. Most of the children were in primary school, so for them to successfully grasp high-school techniques was really quite amazing and a credit to their own determination and investment in the course.
This was all new to me too, not only was I teaching 50 children in live online lessons, I was creating lesson plans, pre-recording video lessons for those who couldn’t be there for the live sessions, developing homework activities and even marking them.
I’m thrilled with what I, and the rest of the Education and Learning Team managed to achieve during Term 4. I’m proud of how we all adapted but mostly I’ve just been seriously impressed by the children who turned up for these extra lessons and courses outside of their 'normal' school work. It’s not easy to go from a normal school situation to suddenly joining an online group call with complete strangers in an effort to learn something delivered by an educator that you don’t know and who doesn’t know you. Add in the unfamiliarity of software you’ve got limited use of and a lack of physical connection to friends, peers, and teachers and you’ve got a really difficult learning environment. It’s been hard for children all over the country and I can’t commend them enough for sticking with my teaching and delivering work week after week. Truly astounding.
Looking forward, I’m eagerly working through the 50+ entries for Young Reporters Scotland this year (a number that has more than doubled previous years) and I’m beginning to submit the best ones to the International Young Reporters for the Environment Competition, delivered by the Foundation for Environmental Education.
It is a genuine joy to read about how young people view their environment and, in many ways, gives me hope for Scotland’s climate in the future. Times are changing, and I believe that the Young Reporters programme demonstrates that attitudes are changing too.
Feel free to get in touch with me if you’re interested in learning more about what I do and check out our Young Reporters pages to see some of the fantastic work that young people from across Scotland have submitted.