Bat Conservation Ireland has created a new website for primary school children and their teachers called Learn About Bats (www.learnaboutbats.com), which is being launched in time for Hallowe'en.
The website includes beautiful illustrations from award winning children's author and illustrator Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick and photographs by Paul van Hoof.
It centres around a number of 'Bat Fact' pages, each of which addresses a specific topic, such as 'Irish Bats', 'Are Bats Blind?' or 'Are Bats Good or Bad?' These bat fact pages also have downloadable worksheets for follow-on work in the classroom.
As well as science information the website includes ideas for art and craft projects, as well as colouring sheets and, specifically for teachers, a downloadable pdf slide presentation with explanatory notes to add to the classroom experience.
The website was funded by donations, grant assistance from the Irish Environmental Network and Bat Conservation Ireland's own funds. It was designed by Made in Trenbania.
It will be officially launched during the 9th Irish Bat Conference at the Clayton Leopardstown Hotel by Juanita Browne, author of My First Book of Irish Animals, tomorrow October 14, 2017 at 8pm.
Dr Niamh Roche from Bat Conservation Ireland said: "Teachers can find it difficult to access information about Irish bats to share with their students. We wanted to create an easy-to-navigate website that could be used for SESE/STEM lessons at primary level, or perhaps in association with a school's Green Flag for Biodiversity.
"Also, at this time of year when everyone is creating bat decorations for the classroom and home it is great to be able to share accurate bat facts and to be able to dispel myths about bats.
"The fact is that, in Ireland, most bats are beginning a long winter of hibernation during October, and bats do this because they don't have enough insect food to eat to stay active over the winter. Bats are not, usually, out and about flying around at Hallowe'en, unless the evening is unseasonably warm.
"We have nine species of bat resident in Ireland, some of these are fairly common and widespread, while others are rarer and restricted to certain parts of the country. All of them eat insects and have an important role to play in our ecosystem."
Click on the website here.