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Nature Knowledge Expert

Taught by Steve Backshall

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Course Description

It’s time to meet Steve Backshall in his online classroom and follow him on an amazing journey. Learn some of the most mind-blowing and incredible facts about nature.

Do you know which common insects roast their would-be predators with heat? Which animal has the most powerful bite, or where it hasn’t rained for nearly 2 million years!? By the end of the course you will do – and you’ll also be a Steve Backshall accredited Nature Knowledge Expert - with a certificate to prove it!!

You’ll need to get your pen and paper ready as each of the six lessons will begin with a quiz, where Steve asks you ten questions about our amazing natural world.

He will then go through each question, giving the answer as well as other incredible facts, fascinating knowledge and stories about his own adventures. There will be meat-eating pandas, tasting with toes and trees older than the Pyramids.

Steve will then set a fun assignment. This could be a written piece, like arguing for or against the reintroduction of wolves in Scotland, or a creative piece – a drawing, painting, or poem inspired by something you’ve learned. You will then upload your marked quiz and assignments to Steve’s online classroom, where you’ll get feedback and also meet and chat with fellow students in the Nature Knowledge Expert community.

Course outline

  • Introduction, Predators and Unicorns

    Welcome to the course! Steve will begin by saying hello and introducing you to the structure of the lesson. There will be the quiz, which you need to mark yourself, followed by the answers and the assignment. In this lesson you’ll learn about unicorns, top predators and the super-powers of a crocodile. There will also be super-jumpers, lock-down experts and the biggest brain of all.

  • The World’s Deadliest Animal

    Welcome back and thanks for the fantastic assignments! In this lesson Steve will tell you about the fastest and biggest birds, the driest, coldest and deepest places on earth, beetles and... the world’s deadliest animal.

  • Steve’s Mindblowers

    In this lesson Steve will tell you how humans didn’t invent democracy at all – many animals have been using it for millennia. You’ll learn how plants can also communicate – and what they talk about! There will be big cats, fast fish and you’ll end up re-thinking everything you thought you knew about the polar bear – including their colour…

  • Under the Sea!

    Steve will cover sharks, snakes and jellyfish in this lesson, as well as Octopus’ organs and reindeer eyes – you thought it was just their noses that were an unusual colour! There will be land speed records, animal alarms and you’ll also learn about the lake which holds almost a quarter of the world’s fresh water – incredible.

  • Sea Creatures, Land Animals and Mass Migration

    In this lesson there will be sea creatures in rivers and records for biggest land animals, mountains and roar-volume! You will also learn about one of the greatest journeys in the animal kingdom - a mass migration across continents by a creature no bigger your hand!

  • Lazy Animals, Long Journeys and Meat Eating Pandas

    We all like a lie in, but for most of the year!? You’ll learn about nature’s laziest, the longest journeys and longest living. And there will still be time for meat eating pandas and animals which taste food with their feet!

Choose how you want to learn

  • The Expert option


    Develop your learning further with marked assignments and personal tuition from Steve Backshall

    • Start course anytime from July 27th 2020
    • 6 weeks tutor access for personalised assignment feedback & coaching
    • 6 assignments marked by Steve Backshall
    • Certificate of completion from Steve Backshall
    • Online classroom with up to 20 classmates
    • 6 lessons with expert videos & notes
    • Group chat & direct message with tutor & classmates
    • Lifetime access to videos, notes & classroom
    Learn more
    Start anytime from July 27th 2020
  • The Peer option

    Discover the benefits of group learning in an online interactive classroom of no more than 20 people. Get the most from shared knowledge and community study

    • Start course anytime from July 27th 2020
    • Practise what you learn with your peers
    • Online classroom with up to 20 classmates
    • 6 lessons with expert videos & notes
    • 6 course assignments
    • Group chat & direct message classmates
    • Lifetime access to videos, notes & classroom
    Learn more
    Start anytime from July 27th 2020

How it works

About Steve Backshall

Steve Backshall is a BAFTA-winning English naturalist, explorer, writer and television presenter, best known for BBC TV's Deadly 60. His other BBC work includes being part of the expedition teams in Expedition, Lost Land of the Tiger, Lost Land of the Volcano and Lost Land of the Jaguar.

Steve has been passionate about the wild world ever since he could crawl. Growing up, he counted the animals that lived around him as his best pals – from the asthmatic donkey to the grass snakes in the manure heap!

After leaving University, Steve studied martial arts in Japan attaining his black belt. Over the following years Steve wrote for the Indonesian Rough Guides and during his travels became conversant in the local language, drank blood with uncontacted tribes, nearly got caught in fatal crossfire in riots in East Timor, came nose to nose with Komodo Dragons and attempted to walk solo across Irian Jaya!

Next, Steve headed out to Colombia. Whilst living in the jungle he wrangled snakes and ended up in a Colombian jail (through no fault of his own)! National Geographic Channel International bought the resultant video and Steve was taken on as ‘Adventurer in Residence’, producing, filming and presenting adventure and natural history programmes. Steve has circumnavigated the globe time and again, venturing into the Sinai desert, completing the Israeli paratroopers selection course, catching anacondas, vipers and cobras and making “The Ten Great Dives of the World”, for the long-running series ‘Earthpulse’.

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