A procession of uniformed school children walked through the glass door into the Field Marshal Sir John Chapple Education Centre in the Central Zoo one recent morning. They were giggles and pointing at their augmented selves on a monitor alongside a dancing chimp or submerged in an underwater world. The children file ahead to eight digital kiosks, huddling in small groups answering a nature quiz and playing online games to learn about the animals in the zoo.
Making conservation learning fun and interactive is the purpose of the centre which was set up in February. After retirement from the British Army, Sir John Chapple worked to conserve Nepal’s biodiversity for more than 30 years, and is Chair of the UK National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC).
“To pay a modest tribute to a man who has devoted most of his energy to conservation and wildlife seemed like an excellent idea, and with support of the UK NTNC we came up with the idea of an education centre that lives up to the digital era,” says Amita Sen (pictured below), the only Nepali trustee of the UK chapter of NTNC. “The public, especially student visitors, now get fun-filled access to conservation at the touch of a monitor.