Skype in the Classroom Broadcast with Dr. Jane Goodall
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Skype in the Classroom Broadcast with Dr. Jane Goodall

Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. Today on Skype in the Classroom we’ll meet the one and only Dr. Jane Goodall, a pioneering scientist and compassionate leader fighting to protect people, animals, and the environment. You’ll hear first-hand about her brave adventures, living among chimpanzees in Africa, and discover how she relied on intuition and curiosity to do what no one had ever done before. Are you ready to change the world? Let’s get started. Hello from Egypt. Hello from Vietnam. Hello from India. Hello from Indiana in the United States. Hello from Nigeria. Hola from Puerto Rico. Hi from Greece. Hello from Canada. Hello from Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington in the United States, and a very big welcome to all the students and teachers joining us for this global Skype in the Classroom event. We have dozens of countries tuning in to hear from Dr. Jane Goodall, a truly amazing person who has changed the world around her. Dr. Jane is one of the world’s leading experts on chimpanzees, and she was one of the first people to study chimps in the wild. She has dedicated her life to helping protect the earth and all its animals, and she founded an organization for young people like you called Roots & Shoots to help students like yourselves get started working together to make a difference. Today, we’ll share a bit about how you can do that, and how technology is making a difference to help advance her work, and the impact we all can have. Before we meet Dr. Jane, let’s learn a little bit more about her life. In 1960, a young British woman ventured into the forests of Africa to follow her childhood dream to find a way to watch free, wild animals living their own undisturbed lives. She left everything familiar behind, and ended up giving the world a remarkable window into our closest living relatives. She was me. I wanted to come as close to understanding animals as I possibly could. [MUSIC] We are continuing our research at Gombe. It’s the longest running study of any non-human animal, and we’re using some exciting new technology to learn more about chimpanzee ranging patterns and the state of the forest, and this helps to inform decision makers on action to be taken to protect chimpanzees, their habitats, and the other creatures that live there. I flew in a small plane over Gombe National Park, and I was absolutely horrified at what I saw. So quickly, it seemed, the environment outside the national park had been utterly destroyed. The trees had gone. The land was over-farmed and infertile. We were struggling to survive, and that’s when I realized that unless we help the people to improve their lives, there was no way we could even try to save the precious chimpanzees. This is when we started Take Care, or TACARE, a community-centered conservation project. Everywhere I went I met young people who seemed to have lost hope. They all said more or less the same thing. “We feel like this because we think you’ve compromised our future.” And so that led into our program for youth, Roots & Shoots. The main message of Roots & Shoots is that every one of us makes a difference every single day. The program has now become a movement that’s in 100 countries around the world. One of the things that the Jane Goodall Institute does that I feel is really most important is to try and give people hope, to help people understand that every single day we live we can make a difference, and together with everybody making a difference, we can change the world. I know you all are ready now to meet Dr. Jane, so let me introduce you to our very special guest. Well, thank you, and I’m honored to be here. I’d like to start our chat by asking you to share a little bit about the young Jane Goodall. I was born loving animals, and I spent all the free time I could outside in the garden, on the cliffs surrounding my home, and I was always watching birds, watching any creature I could find. How the spiders walked through the grass carrying their eggs and then their babies on their backs. All those things I absolutely loved, and I was really curious. Well thank you, Jane. We’ve been gathering questions from students over the past few weeks. I think they have a lot of curiosity as well, so let’s dive right in to their questions. Our first question is from a student in the United Kingdom. Hello. My name is Ava. I’m from Wales, and my question is what made you want to study chimpanzees in the wild? When I was little I wanted to go to Africa, live with wild animals, and write books about them. It wasn’t chimpanzees. It was any animal, but I wanted to be in Africa because of Dr. Dolittle and Tarzan. So when I got to Africa, and I met the famous Dr. Louis Leakey, and he asked me if I would study chimpanzees. Not just any animal, but the one most like us. How lucky was I? Nobody had studied them in the wild. It was fabulous. Our second question comes to us from a Roots & Shoots student in Africa. Hey Jane. My name is Lynette. My school is Nkumba Boarding Primary School in Uganda. I have a question for you. How did you gain the trust of the chimpanzees? Well, that’s a good question. It took a long time. I had to have a lot of patience, but if you want to learn about animals, you learn you really have to have patience. So I just day after day climbed up into the hills, didn’t try to get too close too quickly, wore the same colored clothes that I would look the same all the time, and so gradually they lost their fear. And I was helped by one chimpanzee especially. I called him David Greybeard, because he had a beautiful white beard, and for some reason, he lost his fear before the others. But they’re all different. So, that was how it began. Now that’s such a great lesson, I think, for all of us. the importance of building trust. Our next question comes from a primary school student. Hi Dr. Jane. I’m Aryan from India. My question is were you ever scared to be around the chimpanzees? Well, thank you for asking that question, because you know, chimpanzees are eight times stronger than us. Probably 10 times stronger than me, because I’m not very big. I had this feeling that I was meant to be there studying the chimpanzees, so I actually wasn’t really afraid of them. I felt they really wouldn’t hurt me, but there were just a few times when a big male with all his hair bristling, looking twice as big as he actually was, and he came charging towards me, and sometimes would grab me and drag me. And luckily, I wasn’t afraid at the time, but afterwards when he displayed away, I found my legs shaking a little bit. But it was okay. Such an extraordinary experience that you’ve had. Our next question comes to us from a high school student, and this student is also part of Roots & Shoots. Hi Dr. Jane. My name is Rene, and I’m from
the State of Connecticut in the United States of America, and I was wondering how did you overcome criticism when just starting out? Well fortunately when I began, I wasn’t interested in becoming a scientist, as such. I just wanted to live with animals and write books about them. So when the scientists began criticizing me, at first I didn’t really care, because so what? I knew what I wanted to do, and I was doing it for Dr. Leakey and to satisfy my own curiosity. And it was only later when I needed to work to try and get chimpanzees out of medical research, for example, that I needed to become a proper scientist. And then, how did I react to their criticism? By trying to get enough knowledge that I could feel secure in answering their criticism so that … proving I was right, more or less. I think that’s such a valuable lesson for students. You first have to learn, you have to prepare, and then you can use that to start to change people’s minds. Yes, and you know also criticism can be really useful. It was my mother who taught me, “Well, you know, listen when people disagree, because maybe they got a point. Maybe there’s something you can learn.” And this is really very helpful. I’ve found it helpful in my life. Yeah, I think it’s helpful for everybody. It’s not easy, but it is helpful. It’s very helpful. Well, this last question, submitted in advance, comes to us from a student in Asia. Hi. Dr. Jane. Ni hao. Hello from Taiwan. I’m Henry, and I am 10 years old. I would like to know what are some things that kids can do to make this world a better place? Well thank you for asking that question, because you’re giving me the opportunity to suggest that you find out about our Roots & Shoots program, if you don’t already know. And then you will realize how much kids can do, and how much kids like you are doing to change the world and make it a better place. Because you’ll be talking to your friends, maybe your teacher, your parents about the things you care about and choosing projects, you and your friends, to make the world better for people, a project to help animals, and a project to help the environment. And then you roll up your sleeves, you get out there, and you do it. And what I want you to remember, which is so important, is that every single day you live, you’re making a difference. You have choices as to how you behave, and if you think about it, then you’ll join our family that’s growing all around the world and changing the way that we think about animals, the way we think about helping people, and the way we feel about preserving the environment that we need, as well as the animals. So thank you for asking that question. Well, certainly as we’ve had the opportunity to learn even more about Roots & Shoots, it is so clear what an extraordinary program it is, and what a great opportunity it is for students in every country in the world to get involved, to learn more, as you just described. Yeah. Yeah, I can certainly tell you on behalf of all of the team here at Microsoft, we’re so excited to be partnering with you, Jane, with the Roots & Shoots team, and with everything else that the Jane Goodall Institute is doing. There is such a need, perhaps now more than ever, to inspire young people to help make the changes the world needs. And you’re not only helping engage kids in communities’ efforts to help protect this planet and its animals, but you’re also teaching students to be compassionate leaders. Thank you for being with us today. We’ll look forward to having you answer more questions, but thank you for being part of this effort. Well thank you for inviting me. Well, unfortunately that’s all the time we have, but before we go, let’s give you a chance to take a photo with Jane. If you gather in front of the screen in your classroom or in your home, you can take a selfie with Dr. Jane Goodall and share it with your communities on social media. We’ll give you a few seconds to get organized. [MUSIC] Okay, everybody. On three. One, two, three. Say, “Chimpanzee.” [MUSIC] Jane, thank you so much for spending this time with us today. Thank you for helping me to get the message out around the world. Our pleasure.

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