Bringing science to everyone

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Bringing science to everyone: Darwin's Backpack

Temuco, ChileTemuco, Chile
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

La Mochila de Darwin is trying to bring science to everyone. A small but innovative mobile laboratory, which with its easy portability makes children can about science to their territories and recognizing their local environment. Added to that an attractive and didactic design for them.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What would happen if we really let the children save our planet?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Enjoy nature and outdoors activities is not only to see areas of outstanding natural beauty, it involves understanding the elements of biotic, abiotic and anthropogenic types that comprise interact. Thus, detachment of the environment, and have a common factor that is the lack of environmental education in the basic cycles, generating in adulthood detachment toward the ambient environment.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

To mitigate this problem it is necessary to intervene in the foundation of our educational training as a cornerstone to raise the awareness of the younger generation. For this it is necessary to provide the conventional educational plan with the addition of an educational component that will address local environmental issues, created as a preventive action to avoid habits and indifferent attitudes, which help value, reflect and form a responsible view towards our environment through a program of environmental education based on dynamic and interactive materials and activities that integrate all natural resources. This developed from the creation of a learning and teaching tool.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Environmental protection is dependent on all humanity. But for this you need to know and learn to recognize the importance of these elements in our natural ecosystems. Certainly to learn about the environment, many times, we must be immersed in this area and there is no relationship with other professional areas. Therefore it is necessary and urgent to bring the knowledge of natural resources, science and the environment for the whole community; and especially our children so. Thus, Darwin's Backpack brings awareness of our environment and the children so specific to rural school children, which often do not have the necessary tools.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

The first stage of La Mochila de Darwin was done at a rural school at the community of Gorbea in Araucanía, in which we managed to finance 10 products. Considering the work of groups of 4 or 5 children per backpack, we managed to work with over 45 students of this rural school Those who could know, use, and learn to work with different tools in a laboratory. To recognize their environment, the importance of each of the natural resources, the need to protect the environment and how to observe with new eyes natural resources. Today this rural school has an Eco Group, who develops environmental education activities in your area, using Darwin's Backpack as a scientific and educational tool in their activities. This demonstrates the potential of the project, impregnating environmental issues locally.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Bringing science closer aims to bring Darwin's Backpack in the next 2 years to all communes in the Araucania Region, being able to find sponsors per school per rural commune. Added to that, will look that this Environmental Education Program is funded by a Regional Development Fund and that this tool is included in the educational programs of some colleges or schools in rural areas. and in some cases they can be funded by the Education Act SEP.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

The designing, building and construction kits will be financed by companies, municipalities and universities that function as sponsors from different schools and rural schools, especially in the region of Araucanía. In the case of regional or national companies, we will work with CSR and government funding, it is intended apply for a Regional Government Fund. This will allow us to obtain financing for 2 or 3 years.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Nationwide Environmental Education Campaign SAVES THE EARTH (, the program is linked to this topic with greater geographic scope and benefit. Our project differs in the form of work, which considers the recognition, field work in their local environment and the continuation of this work, since Darwin's Backpack stays at the benefited school and may be used for the years that the product and its inputs have left. This proves that it's a project with high projection and potential.

Founding Story

Our NGO AUGERN since 2009 has worked in social and environmental issues. Related to public participation, environmental education and natural resources. After the development and evaluation of different projects, analyze the need for tangible results. This in order to address environmental issues from a practical, innovative and educational way. Here the idea to create a producer linking education, science and the environment. Therefore, that Darwin Backpack is our first product, which add up all the years of work and experience of our environmental partner organization; we believe that this is the potential and success of this project.


Our social and environmental NGO is composed by a formal policy. Formed by professionals in the area of Natural Resource Management; Engineers and biologists. Moreover, we received support from the Social Entrepreneurship Center - ARAUCANIA HUB - in which the Director is the global organization Ashoka split. Finally, in the case of specific projects, other related service area-working professionals are hired.
About You
ONG Socio Ambiental AUGERN
About You
First Name


Last Name

Zurita P

About Your Project
Organization Name

ONG Socio Ambiental AUGERN

How long has your organization been operating?

Please select

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Organization Country

, Temuco

Country where this project is creating social impact

, Temuco

What awards or honors has the project received?
Funding: How is your project financial supported?


Primary Target Age Group

13 - 17.

Your role in Education

After-School Provider.

Please specify which of the following best applies:

I am applying on behalf of a particular program or initiative.

The type of school(s) your solution is affiliated with (if applicable)


Intervention Focus


Does your project utilize any of the innovative design principles below?

Creating Peer Support Networks for All Stakeholders in Education: Creating peer-to-peer learning and support for teachers, parents, expecting mothers and more that enables them to transform learning.

Is your project targeted at solving any of the following key barriers?

Whole child development is undervalued: Essential parts of development get left behind as children get older, such as healthy habits, executive function, and social and emotional learning.

What key learning outcomes does your work seek to improve?
Secondary Form
PROGRAM DESIGN CLARITY: We are hungry to know more about what exactly your model consists of. Please succinctly list a) what main activities are you doing with your beneficiaries, b) where you carry out the activities? c) how often? d) for how many hours? e) who delivers the services? and f) any other brief details

A- Developing a Plan for Environmental Education, which includes Darwin's Backpack tool
B- Southern Chile - Rural Schools Araucania Region
C- The Plan for environmental education lasts a school year.
D- At least 2 hours per day
E- Professional of the NGOs Socio-environmental AUGERN

INSPIRATION: What do you consider the most important trends or evidence that inspire you to believe the world is ready to Re-imagine Learning? Please elaborate.

We cannot keep doing things the same way, this has brought us to where we are today. How we have our planet and how we are relating as a society. Therefore, we must change the way of doing things and one of them is to have new strategies for education; which are closer, empathetic, innovative and relevant to the cultural and environmental context in which they develop.

LEARNING THROUGH PLAY: What does “learning through play” mean to you and why it is a must-have, instead of a nice to have?

Whereas the children live daily interacting with the world through games. It is relevant to a learning tool that links the theme of "play". And even more on issues such as the protection and care of the environment, where many concepts, scientific and technical elements may be distant to children. Therefore, this idea of learning through play is key to getting information to children. Considering it as a key element to address thematic sometimes distant for them.

SUSTAINABILITY: Please list a quick breakdown of your funding, indicating the percentage that comes from each source.

Currently our funding source are the bidding funds from public and private entities. Our project aims to create a model of "sponsorship" of public agencies, private companies, social foundations and private schools, to rural schools.

MODEL: How does your mission relate to your business model (i.e. Non-profit, for-profit or hybrid)?

The mission of our nonprofit NGO is totally related to the model of "sponsorship" we seek to build our networks and partnerships. Since, funding seeks to establish Darwin's Backpack in rural schools and focused.

FUNDING PRIORITIES: If your organization were given $20K in unrestricted funding today, how would you use it? Why?

- Improving the design and production of Darwin's Backpack
- Study on the impact generated in schools and children
- Knowledge of the work of other tools for environmental education internationally
- Generating networks nationwide

PARTNERSHIPS: Tell us about your partnerships that enhance your approach.

We are creating partnerships with regional university, local municipalities, foundations and private schools. This is to generate a model of "sponsorship" to rural schools that we want to focus on.

COLLABORATIONS: Have you considered or initiated partnerships with any of the other Challenge Pacesetters? If so, please share.

Yes, we have received tremendous fed back. Which has us motivated to establish partnerships with some of the participants. And to bring our Darwin's Backpack to other countries and regions. Moreover, to know other experiences in this area; as it is environmental education.

VISION: If you had unlimited funding, and you could fast forward 15 years to when your program has been able to achieve wild success - what will it have achieved?

Established in all regions of our Chile. Generating Plans for environmental education with our Darwin's Backpack in rural schools in Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela. This shows that our success is defined by our product is replicable in other countries and can be established in the cultural contexts of each zone.

IMPACT - KEY METRICS: Please list the key data points that you would cite as evidence that you are able to achieve lasting learning outcomes. Please also share one data point for which you most hope to see better results over time

- Amount of benefitted rural schools
- Amount of incorporated children
- Environmental Education plans generated
- Generated networks
- Backpacks given

IMPACT - REPORTING SAMPLE: Please attach any examples of your impact reporting. [optional]:
RESEARCH AND EVIDENCE: Please link or attach any research or evidence resource you are open to sharing more widely [optional]. Building research and evidence is a key aim of this initiative, and the resources you share may be chosen for listing in the Center for Education Innovations library:
SOURCE: If applicable - who created the research or evidence you are choosing to share? :
IMPACT - REACH: How many people did your project directly engage in programmatic activities in the last year?

Not Applicable - yet! (we are at the idea stage or start-up)

STUDY: Has an external evaluation or study been conducted of your organization?

In progress

Other (please specify)
Number of Employees:

Fewer than 10

Number of Volunteers:

Fewer than 10

APPROACHES: Given the complexity of play, it is not surprising that there have been numerous research attempts to categorize the different types and approaches! Please indicate which of the following your project focuses on.

Providing a Range of Opportunities (providing the equipment and materials needed for various types of play).

Other (please specify)
AFFILIATION: Please specify if your organization has any existing affiliations with the LEGO Group.