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Elizabeth Hillman

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— New Content, LIVE Virtual Field Trip Helps Educators Inspire Classroom Discussion on Biodiversity, Endangered Species and Related Topics —


Silver Spring, Md. (November 12, 2015) – Inspired by the themes in Discovery Channel’s December 2, 2015 global premiere of the award-winning documentary RACING EXTINCTION, Discovery Education has partnered with Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Productions to offer educators and students worldwide a variety of digital resources and immersive interactive experiences supporting science instruction and fostering classroom discussions on biodiversity, endangered species and related topics. Discovery Education is the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms. Mr. Allen is a Co-Executive Producer of the film, and through Vulcan Productions, is committed to becoming the world leader in impact storytelling.

From Academy Award®-winning director Louie Psihoyos, RACING EXTINCTION examines the loss of biodiversity, and its effect on humanity, and solutions that inspire hope for a more sustainable future. Recognizing the important role educators play in teaching students about the natural world around them, Discovery Education, in partnership with Vulcan Productions and the Oceanic Preservation Society, have developed no-cost, standards-based educational resources teachers can use to inspire classroom discussion on the critical challenges facing their generation. These resources, available at, include standards-aligned, cross-curricular lesson plans that empower high school educators to build interactive lessons exploring mass extinction, pollution, climate change and more.

Additionally, exclusive clips from RACING EXTINCTION that illuminate the repercussions of species loss are now available to Discovery Education Streaming users. A comprehensive digital service supplementing instruction across all K-12 curricular areas, Discovery Education’s digital resources are standards-aligned and searchable. Through Discovery Education Streaming, students can access images, primary source documents, podcasts, oral interviews, audio books, articles, videos, and more. 

“These new digital resources from Discovery Education will help me facilitate classroom discussions about many of the important issues, such as biodiversity loss and mass extinction, raised by RACING EXTINCTION,” said Wendy Norton, middle school STEM teacher, School District of Osceola County, Fla. “I look forward to integrating this new content into my classroom instruction.”

To further stimulate dialogue on the important topics raised by the documentary, middle and high school students worldwide are invited to attend the RACING EXTINCTION #StartWith1Thing Virtual Field Trip on Wednesday, November 18 at 1PM EST. Hosted LIVE from the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, this virtual experience will explore why some biologists believe one-half of the Earth’s higher life forms will be extinct by 2100, why it’s important to address the loss of biodiversity, and what can be done to prevent it. Additionally, participating students will meet several world-renowned scientists and everyday citizens who are addressing the causes of extinction and transforming communities along the way. Featured guests will include:

  • Dr. Stuart Pimm, Doris Duke Chair of Conservation at Duke University, and Kenton Kerns, Smithsonian’s National Zoo, Small Mammal House Biologist, who will spotlight the successful reforestation efforts in coastal Brazil that are credited with saving the Golden Lion Tamarin. 
  • Shawn Heinrichs, marine conservationist and Emmy award-winning cinematographer, who will discuss the impact of hunting animals to extinction in our oceans and share how one community's amazing transformation helped save an entire population of whale sharks.
  • Boris Marchegiani, benefactor of a Scarlet Macaw reintroduction project, who will provide students with a behind-the-scenes look at a program in Costa Rica that is reintroducing Scarlet Macaws into the environment and transforming the local community in the process.
  • Carter and Olivia Ries, co-founders of O.M.G., an organization dedicated to preserving wildlife for One More Generation and beyond, will underscore the power everyone has – especially students – to make a difference.

Educators and students across the globe can register and submit questions to be answered live during the virtual event at Participants are encouraged to use #StartWith1Thing to connect with one another on social media.

“The next generation is critical to stopping mass extinction,” said Carole Tomko, General Manager and Creative Director of Vulcan Productions. She continues, “The Discovery teachers networks are unsurpassed and will be a critical force in educating the next guardians of the climate to create long term, positive change toward preserving endangered species. These educational resources will empower students to take steps to solve the very problems they’re learning about.”

“Discovery Education is pleased to bring these engaging new resources to students worldwide,” said Bill Goodwyn, President and CEO, Discovery Education. “Through RACING EXTINCTION and these incredible learning opportunities, students will be inspired to think beyond the walls of their classroom to tackle some of our planet’s most critical issues.”

For more information and to access the program’s free resources visit:  

For more information on Discovery Education visit

About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional development, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 3 million educators and over 30 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, over 40 percent of all primary schools in the UK, and more than 50 countries. Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at

About Vulcan Productions

Founded by philanthropist, entrepreneur and Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen and his sister Jody Allen, Vulcan Productions produces compelling feature films, television series, specials, digital content and outreach initiatives designed to inspire people to take action on the critical issues of our time. Vulcan Productions is committed to supporting projects of significance that ignite progress and motivate audiences to generate measurable impact on the world. As part of the organization’s mission to protect oceans and wildlife, Vulcan Productions is launching an innovative outreach campaign for the documentary film Racing Extinction that drives awareness around carbon emissions, ocean health and mass species extinction.    As part of a comprehensive relief campaign to stop the spread of Ebola, Vulcan Productions produced the #ISurvivedEbolaUnseen Enemy and Body Team 12, which won the Tribeca Film Festival award for Best Documentary Short. Together with Morgan Spurlock’s Cinelan, Vulcan Productions produced We The Economy, a digital film series designed to deepen public understanding of the U.S. economy, which won the Webby Award. Other awards garnered by Vulcan Productions projects include the George Foster Peabody Award, the Emmy Award, the Grammy Award, Wildscreen Panda Award and the Sheffield Doc/Fest Green Award. Acclaimed films and series from the Vulcan Productions group also include Girl RisingSuccess at the CoreHard Candy and The Blues.  To explore the work of Vulcan Productions, visit: