Creature comforts: a day in the life of a wildlife educator

Dan Rouse - wildlife educator

I’m a Wildlife Educator from Swansea, Wales. I’ve always had a huge passion for wildlife since a very young age – I have a very supportive family who appreciated and helped my love for wildlife grow. It has since blossomed into a business and a huge part of my life.

As a Wildlife Educator, my work is based solely on wildlife. I love weird creatures, adaptations and evolution, what makes a creature so special in their own weird and wonderful way.

My aim through my work is to get people to love the weird and small creatures found in the world. I started my career with WWT as a Learning Assistant, teaching schools and the public about the amazing wildlife with their adaptations found in Wetlands. I also worked with the Aviculture team in both Llanelli and Slimbridge as my main love in life is birds and breeding birds where each one is different and has their own needs and breeding habitats.

"Seeing children smile and get close to my creatures and even wanting to handle them is a major win for me."

Since starting my own business at the age of 22, I have had the opportunity and pleasure of visiting schools to teach classes of various ages about the creatures that I own as part of my Wildlife Education team. They have opportunities to get up close with different creatures to see what makes them unique and to see their adaptations. I also visit festivals with my team of creatures and do Special Educational Needs (SEN) teaching and therapy classes.

I wanted to get involved with the STEM Ambassadors programme because it was a great chance for me to meet like-minded people who are passionate about getting more children involved in STEM subjects and especially getting more women into these topics. I was seeing so many amazing things that people who were STEM Ambassadors got up to and how many children they were aiming to inspire. As someone who is passionate about wildlife, and with wildlife in such a decline, I wanted to get the topic out there more.

For me, seeing children smile and get close to my creatures and even wanting to handle them is a major win for me. With so much wildlife being destructed, it hits me right in the heart when I see children wanting to show love and care for wildlife.

I love listening to children talk in the playground when putting my kit away and listening to them share bits of information you have told them to their friends. That's when I realise that they have retained the fact and are genuinely fascinated by the creatures.

"I wanted to get involved with the STEM Ambassadors programme because it was a great chance for me to meet like-minded people who are passionate about getting more children involved in STEM subjects."

Seeing pictures of classes carrying out further work on some of the creatures I’ve shown them or seeing children’s faces when you bring out a creature is always an amazing feeling.

Another thing that I love, which some people may hate, is questions! Children are so inquisitive and some of the questions they ask are very challenging to answer but it makes me a better educator as I have to make sure that I have all relevant information and facts are accurate but also maintaining the level of fun, I love how much children open up and want to learn more!

Share your STEM story

As the academic year draws to a close, we want to celebrate your achievements. If you have an inspiring story that you would like to share, we’d love to hear from you.

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