Turning the great outdoors into a virtual classroom

Vicky O’Donnell is the founder of Wilder Wander, an astonishing mobile game that gets children out into Nature to explore the wonders of the world.
I grew up on a farm in the Wicklow Mountains, loved the great outdoors and from an early age I always wanted to work with animals, so when I left school I studied zoology and animal behaviour in TCD. I am sure I asked David Attenborough for a job at one stage and I managed to get some work with the wildlife filmmaker Éamon de Buitléar, finding pine martens for him to film in the West of Ireland.
But jobs in nature are scarce on the ground so I went back to college to study geo-informatics and spent the next thirteen years working in maritime research in UCC. I worked with data at all stages and, although the job was technical, the work was very applied so it was easy to see the value of data in decision making and the importance of data as currency.
While working at UCC in 2000, I saw an article in The Irish Times advertising jobs with Irish Aid’s Rapid Response Corps which sends experts to work in the initial stages of an emergency. All of the data/information skills that I was using in maritime research were directly relevant to working on the ground during an emergency so I decided to pack my bags and I worked with UNOCHA, UNICEF and UNHCR in the Middle East, Africa and Asia until 2015. Since then I have worked with the UN developing emergency toolkits and training courses for those deploying to humanitarian disasters.
“Our first game uses thousands of biological datasets which were collected over the last decade.”
The idea
In the summer of 2017, we started a family tourism business and were in the planning stages

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/wilder-wander-vicky-odonnell-edtech-startup/ on thinkbusiness

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