More than 850 million children and youth – roughly half of the world's student population – have to stay away from schools and universities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Students and teachers are outside the traditional classroom setting right now,” says Adam McLane, The Nature Conservancy’s Missouri State Director. “TNC’s new resource blends virtual learning and shares stories of nature from across the U.S. and beyond – offering students the opportunity to learn how nature impacts everyday life.”

The Nature Conservancy and its 550 scientists recently launched Nature Lab, a new online learning platform designed to help students learn the science behind how nature works for us and how we can help keep it running strong.

“As schools around the world shut down to in response to COVID-19 and parents work to balance the demands on their time and energy, we know that students will have very different learning experiences over the next few months,” said Kate Ireland, director of Youth Engagement Programs at The Nature Conservancy. “I’m proud that The Nature Conservancy, with our newly relaunched Nature Lab curriculum, can offer families some support and open up new worlds for young people.”

A variety of age appropriate courses are available for grades K-5, 6-8 and 9-12, plus bonus Virtual Field Trips such as "The Secret Life of Corals," "Borneo: The Symphony of the Rainforest" and more. Nature Lab features a free curriculum and engaging videos that can be viewed on computers, tablets and computers.

To learn more about Nature Lab and other youth engagement opportunities offered by The Nature Conservancy visit nature.org/naturelab.