White House honors grad student

David Becker at White House panel

David Becker, left, is a Brookfield Zoo educator. Photo: Emily Arnold Losey

A UIC graduate student was among 12 Champions of Change who spoke at the White House June 11 about their work with children in museums and libraries.

David Becker, a doctoral student in the Learning Sciences Research Institute, is senior manager of learning experiences for the Chicago Zoological Society. He leads NatureStart, the Brookfield Zoo’s early childhood environmental initiative.

Becker said the program offers “nature play” activities for children and families at the zoo and throughout the Chicago area, and improves spaces for such activities.

NatureStart has trained more than 100 educators
from around the U.S. and Latin America over the past two years.

He closed his five-minute talk by paraphrasing Rachel Carson’s advice for adults to maintain children’s “inborn sense of wonder” by rediscovering the natural world with them.

 

 

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