Children spend too much time in front of a screen and too little time exploring nature and having in fun the great outdoors. That imbalance can contribute to bullying, illness, depression and attention deficits.
California State University, Northridge’s next Education on the Edge speaker will discuss ways to reconnect children with nature. Scott Sampson, dinosaur paleontologist and host of the PBS TV series “Dinosaur Train,” will talk about “How to Raise a Wild Child” — from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Monday, April 3, in the Northridge Center of the University Student Union, located on the east side of the campus at 18111 Nordhoff St. in Northridge.
He also will present “Dinosaurs of the Lost Continent” to students from the CHIME Institute’s K-8 charter school and Vaughn Next Century Learning Center from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on April 3 at Vaughn Next Century Learning Center in Pacoima.
“I’m personally excited that Dr. Sampson is coming out to the CSUN community to speak with students during the day and adults at night,” said Wendy W. Murawski, executive director and Eisner Endowed Chair of CSUN’s Center for Teaching and Learning. “My own son is a dinosaur enthusiast, due in part to Dr. Sampson’s great work on the PBS series ‘Dinosaur Train.’ As much as I love that TV show and found it educational, however, I know I also will be joined by many educators and parents alike in the evening, as we all learn more about how to get our kids away from screens and back to nature.”
Sampson is a dinosaur paleontologist, science communicator, museum executive and advocate for connecting people with nature. He is president and CEO of Science World at TELUS World of Science, one of Vancouver, British Columbia’s most popular cultural attractions and a recognized leader in science learning.
Born and raised in Vancouver, Sampson previously served as vice president of research and collections and chief curator at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. He is best known as “Dr. Scott,” host and science advisor of the Emmy-nominated series “Dinosaur Train,” produced by the Jim Henson Company. He has published numerous scientific and popular articles, and he regularly speaks to audiences of all ages on a range of topics.
Sampson is author of “Dinosaur Odyssey: Fossil Threads in the Web of Life,” and, most recently, “How to Raise a Wild Child: The Art and Science of Falling in Love with Nature.” Tapping into the latest research findings summarized in “How to Raise a Wild Child,” he will offer advice to parents, educators and others interested in mentoring strong bonds between children and nature.
Recent research indicates that experiencing nature is essential for healthy growth. Regular exposure to natural settings can relieve stress, depression and attention deficits. It can reduce bullying, combat illness and boost academic scores. Studies indicate that abundant time in nature can yield long-term benefits in children’s cognitive, emotional and social development.
The Education on the Edge series is free and open to the public. However, reservations are required. For more information and to reserve a seat, visit www.CTLsampson.eventbrite.com.
CSUN’s Center for Teaching and Learning is the research, collaboration and professional development arm of the Michael D. Eisner College of Education. Faculty from departments across the college are conducting cutting-edge research and professional development to better address the needs of schools, as they work in collaboration with K-12 teachers and administrators and community members.