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What's in the UK 2020 Hanson Box

What’s in the 2020 Hanson Box

The resources of the 2020 Hanson Box were designed to cover a wide range of subjects in the national curriculum, including history, biology, design technology, English, art, geography and geology. The box includes five detailed lesson plans to help teachers utilise the resources in class, as well as interactive essay-writing and creative drawing competitions!

Below is a summary of the 2020 Hanson Box contents sent to 20,000 schools across the United Kingdom and UK Overseas Territories:

  • A book titled Incredible Earth -The World’s Most Spectacular Geography, which explores the most spectacular and unusual landscapes, geographic features and phenomena on Earth. It is intended to excite and awe young minds and inspire the next generation of explorers and geographers.
  • A book titled What On Earth? The Creatures You Have Never Heard Of! This book showcases several hundred animals that most children will likely have never heard of. All children are familiar with about 30 key animal species: cats, dogs, horses, rabbits etc., but what about the 1.5 million or so other animal species on Earth, e.g. Okapi, agoutis, cologus etc.? This book is intended to broaden the imagination of children and encourage curiosity and appreciation of the natural world!
  • A book titled Britain’s Distant Seas – The Waters of the UK Overseas Territories that showcases the amazing marine ecosystems of all of the UK’s Overseas Territories, which harbour all major marine habitats on Earth, from coral reefs, to kelp forests, to geothermal deep sea vents. Few people realise that the UK is responsible for the 5th largest ocean estate in the world (5.5 million square km) and the 12th largest area of coral reefs!
  • A book titled Local Safari -Wildlife Adventures at Home, created in partnership with Dr Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots youth groups! This work concerns the wildlife and nature we can find at home and all around us. It contains 70 ethical, easy and safe activities to undertake to understand and appreciate the nature all around us (designed for schools and for at home!)
  • A book titled Pocket Book of Patriotism by George Courtauld, documenting key dates and events in British History set alongside important international milestones. Starting in pre-history and continuing through the Roman centuries, medieval times, the industrial revolution to the modern era, this work is intended to help students understand the chronology of history and the context of each key event.
  • A Britain’s Distant Seas DVD that accompanies the above book, which includes a specially crafted film about the marine biodiversity of the the UK Overseas Territories.
  •  A magic beans kit (with 4 types of beans) to undertake experiments to discover and understand how plants grow (relates to the Local Safari book above). With a Whacky Beans Challenge flyer (which encourages students to use their understanding of plant growth science to grow beans in weird and wonderful ways).
  • A DIY insect hotel kit with wildflower seeds including five pieces of pre-cut timber to build an insect hotel (relates to theLocal Safari book above). Includes an instructions flyer and an invite to a live Insect Hotel Building Session hosted by Talbot Heath School.
  • A cover letter from the Don Hanson Charitable Foundation team.
  • A gatefold about the Don Hanson Charitable Foundation’s work.
  • An essay competition and a creative drawing competition (both with exciting prices).
  • Five specially designed lesson plan documents that were created in partnership with teacher Jo Brown at Talbot Heath School. Each lesson plan relates to contents within the resource boxes to help teachers use the resources in classroom activities.
  • A flyer about the Great British Water Project, a free initiative that schools across the UK can take part in, to study and understand freshwater ecosystems and drinking water.
  • A flyer about the 2021 Hanson Box and information about a range of grants for schools that the Don Hanson Charitable Foundation is offering

What's Inside the 2020 Box Video

Incredible Earth - The World's Most Spectacular Geography

Publisher: Don Hanson Charitable Foundation
Author: Stewart McPherson
ISBN: 978-1-913631-02-4
Page size: 240 x 285 mm
Cover format: Hardcover

The geography of Planet Earth is incredible.

From lava lakes, rainbow mountains, auroras, lost world mountains, glowing bioluminescent waters, blood falls, mud volcanoes and blue holes in the ocean.

Over 160 pages that are filled with breath-taking imagery, this book explores the world’s most spectacular and unusual landscapes, geographic features and phenomena.

Incredible Earth opens with a brief overview of the paleo-history of the formation of our planet, followed by an overview of the geological structure of our world, an introduction to the vastness of geological time and a summary of amazing facts about Earth.

The remaining 145 pages are dedicated to exploring 36 extraordinary geographic subjects and showcasing the secrets, beauty and wonder that they hold. Many of these geographic subjects that are featured remain little-known and little-documented in other works.

Filled with facts and up-to-date with recent discoveries, findings and research, Incredible Earth showcases many of the greatest wonders of Planet Earth.

This book was created for a single purpose: excite curiosity, awe and wonder in young minds, to inspire the next generation of explorers, geographers, geologists and naturalists

What on Earth? The creatures you've never heard of

Publisher: Don Hanson Charitable Foundation
Author: Stewart McPherson
ISBN: 978-1-913631-00-0
Page size: 240 x 285 mm
Cover format: Hardcover

What is your favourite animal? A rabbit, a cat or a dog? Maybe an elephant, a lion or a tiger?

…or perhaps an okapi, a jerboa or a pangolin… or one of the 1.5 million other animal species that call this world home?

Discover the amazing animals you have never heard of! From iridescent-rainbow snakes to transparent ‘glass fish’, metre-long giant salamanders, flying frogs, poisonous birds, fish that crawl onto land, sea slugs that photosynthesise and mammals that lay eggs!

What on Earth? explores over 90 groups of unusual but amazing creatures that will astound young readers. Each animal group is depicted through beautiful imagery and documented through easy-to-read by detailed text that is filled with interesting facts and information.

The opening pages of this work provide an overview of life on Earth, its context in paleo-history, the taxonomy of organisms that exist today, an overview of the main terrestrial and aquatic biomes, and detailed sections on the key animal groups covered here (amphibians, birds, fish, invertebrates, mammals and reptiles).

What on Earth? will fascinate young readers interested in nature, geography, biology and conservation. It is intended to inspire awe at the diversity of the natural world and the variety of the organisms that call our Earth home.

Britains Distant Seas Book

Publisher: Don Hanson Charitable Foundation
Author: Stewart McPherson
ISBN: 978-1-913631-01-7
Page size: 254 x 300 mm
Cover format: Hardcover

The waters of the UK Overseas Territories are Britain’s distant seas.

They grant the UK the world’s 5th largest ocean estate and the 12th largest area of coral reefs.

Spanning over 5.5 million km2, these remote watery tracts of the UK are scattered over all SevenSeas and are home to every major aquatic ecosystem on Earth, including temperate kelp forests, tropical coral gardens, seagrass beds, deep sea plains and trenches, little-explored seamounts and recently-discovered ‘black smoker’ geothermal vents.

Countless species of aquatic animals live or feed in the waters around the UK Overseas Territories, including immense numbers of invertebrates, vast shoals of reef fish, whale sharks, rays, dolphins, sea turtles, penguins and seals!

Large expanses of the waters around the UK Overseas Territories remain little explored, and new species and extraordinary discoveries continue to be made.

This book provides a detailed summary of the marine biodiversity and habitats of each UK Overseas Territory, complete with the latest research and findings.

Each of the 16 main chapters of this work explores the marine life of a different UK OverseasTerritory and includes a detailed, full-page, custom-drawn map.

Beautifully illustrated with over 350 images, and filled with text contributed by over 100 of residents, conservationists and marine biologists from across the UK Overseas Territories, Britain’sDistant Seas showcases the astounding marine biodiversity of the UK Overseas Territories for the very first time! This work is both a spectacular coffee table photo book and a concise reference volume!

Britain’s Distant Seas was created in partnership with the Friends of the British Overseas Territories.

Local Safari - Wildlife Adventures at Home

Publisher: Don Hanson Charitable Foundation
Author: Stewart McPherson
ISBN: 978-1-913631-03-1
Page size: 240 x 285 mm
Cover format: Hardcover

You don’t need to travel to distant jungles to see spectacular wildlife.

We are surrounded by fascinating animals, beautiful plants and diverse ecosystems, even in our city centres.

Local Safari offers over seventy easy, safe and ethical ways to discover the nature of your local area, and better understand and care for the world in which we all live.Created in partnership with Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots youth groups, this 160-page book is intended to encourage young naturalists to have their own local safari adventures!

The opening pages provide an overview of Dr Jane Goodall’s personal story, an account of the history of Roots & Shoots youth groups, and a foreword by Jane.

The remaining 145 pages are divided into three sections: ‘what lives in my local area’, ‘activities and experiments’ and ‘make the world a better place’.

The ‘what lives in my local area’ section explores ways to find and observe nature at home or at school. Key animal and plant groups are documented and explained, along with ethical observation methods. Every page is filled with facts, activities and stunning imagery. No matter where you live in the United Kingdom, this book contains activities that you can undertake: from urban fox-watching, to spotting squirrels, pond dipping, bird watching, beach combing, rock pooling, building a ‘hedgehog house’, identifying wildflowers, fossil hunting and going on a deer safari!

The ‘activities and experiments’ section showcases carefully designed methods to help youngsters ethically and safely understand key natural processes. Many of these activities and experiments are specifically designed to inspire children to get away from computer screens and into the ‘field’; to drive learning through real experiences, often with grubby hands! These fun, easy and ethical activities and experiments include growing avocado seeds to understand seed germination, making clay creatures and shell mobiles, watching crystals grow and having a sunflower seedling race!

The final section, ‘make the world a better place’, showcases a wide variety of ways in which we all can bring about positive change and create a better future for the natural world. From planting native trees, to making a pollinator garden, building an insect hotel for ‘good bugs’, setting up a wildlife pond, a bat box or a bird feeder! Or simply picking up litter and recycling.

The carefully crafted, age-appropriate text is concise, easy to understand but detailed and rich with interesting information. The use of colourful imagery throughout is intended to explain the subjects and activities that are covered.

Local Safari will drive the passion, enthusiasm and interest of children across the United Kingdom, to help nurture and encourage the next generation of young conservationists, naturalists and environmentalists!

Pocket Book of Patriotism

Publisher: Don Hanson Charitable Foundation
Author: Stewart McPherson
ISBN: 978-1-913631-04-8
Page size: 152×229 mm
Cover format: Hardcover

This work is a reprint of the best-selling title Pocket Book of Patriotism by George Courtauld.

Over 112 pages, this book provides a thoroughly fascinating timeline of key events, with no judgment or padding, brought to life by soul-stirring quotations and beautiful imagery. Major moments in British history are placed alongside coinciding world events in an easy-to-read format.

From the building of Stonehenge to England’s rugby World Cup victory in 2003, from the rule ofHenry VIII to the death of Princess Diana, “Pocket Book of British Patriotism” covers all of Britain’s essential dates, quotes, and speeches.

This special reprint edition contains fresh new imagery and unique content covering the Crown Dependencies and the UK Overseas Territories. It isa must-read for every student of history, geopolitics, and Anglophile alike.

Britain's Distant Seas DVD

TheBritain’s Distant Seas DVD is designed to accompany the Britain’s Distant Seas book, and includes:

– A 30 minute film exploring the marine biodiversity of the UK Overseas Territories with unique footage contributed by conservationists and research teams from across the Overseas Territories.

– Short films dedicated to the following groups of wildlife across the UK Overseas Territories(Amphibians and Reptiles, Birds, Mammals, Marine Life, Plants, Terrestrial Invertebrates).TheBritain’s Distant Seas book and DVD are included in the 2020 Hanson Box with the intention of complementing the Britain’s Distant Lands book and DVD, which were included in the 2019 HansonBox

Insect Hotel Kit

Each 2020 Hanson Box includes five pieces of pre-cut, sustainably produced, untreated timber to construct your school’s very own insect hotel to nurture ‘good bugs’. Construction advice and information is provided on an enclosed flyer as well as in the Local Safari book in this year’s HansonBox.

Additionally, we are running a live ‘how to make’ video session with construction tips and advice, as well as a UK-wide competition inviting schools to submit photographs of the insect hotels that pupils create, with ten prizes to be awarded to the best designs (see details on the enclosed flyer).

We have also enclosed a packet of native wildflower seeds. You can grow these seeds at your school to nurture the ‘good bugs’ occupants of your insect hotel, and other pollinators.

Magic Beans Kit

Packets of four varieties of beans are included in the 2020 Hanson Box to complement activities in the Local Safari book which will enable students to understand many of the key processes involved in plant growth and development (geotropism, phototropism, nutrient uptake and photosynthesis etc.).

For younger students, the beans can be grown as part of a ‘bean race’ on a classroom windowsill, to see whose bean plant grows fastest!

A flyer is also enclosed outlining the ‘whacky bean challenge’. Students are encouraged to use what they have learned about plant growth to custom-design their own weird and wonderful beanstalk (e.g. using gravity to grow a zig-zag beanstalk, or food colouring to create a technicolour plant, or by continually rotating the angle of growth to make a loop-the-loop beanstalk). Photos can be submitted via the Don Hanson Charitable Foundation Facebook page, and prizes will be awarded for the most weird and wonderful beanstalks that are grown!

Competitions and Documents

Also included in your 2020 Hanson Box:

– A cover letter from Andrew Fox and Simon Leary, the trustees of the Don Hanson CharitableFoundation.

– A four-page gatefold concerning the work undertaken by the Don Hanson Charitable Foundation.

– A flyer about the 2021 Hanson Box (and inviting schools to request it and information concerning grants which the Don Hanson Charitable Foundation will be awarding to schools over 2021 to enhance educational resources for students.

– A flyer about two competitions the Don Hanson Charitable Foundation is running: a creative drawing competition for students aged 5-7 (school years 1-2) and an essay-writing competition for students aged 7-11 (school years 3-6). Both competitions offer generous prizes to winning students and also their schools!

– A flyer about the Great British Water Project, which is an initiative that the Don Hanson Charitable Foundation is undertaking over 2021 to study and survey the health of fresh water ecosystems and the quality and chemistry of drinking water across the UK. Send off for a test kit to receive all of the required equipment to take part, and upload your results to see how your region’s freshwater ecosystems and drinking water compares nationally.

– Five custom-designed lesson plans created in partnership with teacher Jo Brown at Talbot HeathSchool, Bournemouth, Dorset. Each lesson plan uses different resources from the 2020 Hanson Box to help teachers use the items we are donating and assimilate them into lessons, addressing different elements of the school curriculum.

– A flyer about our partner organisation, Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots youth groups, which offer a range of exciting activities for schools across the UK!

Sending the 2020 Hanson Boxes

After a full year of development and planning, the 20,000 * 2020 Hanson Boxes were shipped during October and November, 2020.

Each of the 20,000 * 2020 Hanson Box weighed over 11 kg, so in total, more than 220 tonnes (220,000 kg!) of educational resources were sent!

The Don Hanson Charitable Foundation team really hopes that students and educators will enjoy the resources in the 2020Hanson Box!

To request next year’s Hanson Box, click here

About the UK 2020 Hanson Box

The Hanson Box project more than quadrupled in scale between 2019 and 2020.

2020 Hanson Boxes were sent to 20,000 primary schools across the UK. Each box contained over 11kg of books, DVDs and activity kits, making a total of over 220 tonnes (over 220,000kg) donated to schools!