Children are spending increasing amounts of time indoors, and less time playing outdoors and engaging with the natural world.
What the NSW Government did
The NSW Government developed the WilderQuest program in 2012 to inspire children under 12 years old to engage with nature and have a positive experience in a national park.
Linked to the syllabus, the program uses a website and educational apps combined with ranger-led tours and activities in national parks across NSW.
Children experience nature, science and Aboriginal culture through online learning, in classroom lessons, and by getting outside.
The Aboriginal Campfire component of the program includes 360-degree virtual reality videos in which Aboriginal rangers share their culture, knowledge and connection to Country.
What was achieved
As of January 2020, WilderQuest has more than 1,400 registered NSW schools, more than 19,000 registered at-home users and more than 340,000 app downloads. The program has also received 11 industry awards, including the “Best of the Best” trophy at the 2013 Australian Interactive Media Industry Association (AIMIA) Awards.
In 2018, the number of children in NSW that visited a national park increased by 120 per cent (compared to 2012 when the program was introduced).