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Unlock the 'Secrets of Nature': Exploring history, film, and environment

Usually shown to popular cinema audiences prior to a feature-length movie, Secrets of Nature were enjoyed by millions of people in the 1920s and 1930s, and are some of the earliest precursors to today’s Planet Earth and Blue Planet. An interactive Cambridge Festival workshop hosted by the Intellectual Forum for children aged 10-14 explored the history of those nature documentaries. 

Based on a series of fun activities that made use of the original films, participants were immersed in the environments and places of interwar Britain, learning in the process about environmental change and the history of science communication.

Co-hosted by the Intellectual Forum, this workshop showcased a new set of teaching resources based on Jesus College Fellow Dr Max Long’s research into the Secrets of Nature films.

The session was led by two secondary school teachers, Molly Riglin and Jason Langford, who developed the teaching resources alongside Max. It is being generously supported by the Faculty of History, University of Cambridge.