Displaying items by tag: Explorers Education Programme
The Marine Institute’s Explorers Education Programme outreach team are currently sharing their favourite marine facts and lesson plans about the ocean for teachers, parents and primary school children to use while learning from home.
The ‘Meet the Explorers Team’ online initiative is in recognition of International Earth Day, celebrated each year from the beginning of spring to Earth Day itself on 22 April, says Explorers Education manager Cushla Dromgool-Regan.
“Many of our Explorers outreach teams are going digital this month sharing their stories, favourite facts and providing free lesson plans to help raise awareness about the ocean and all the life it supports,” she added.
The Explorers team will be posting ocean facts on its Facebook and Twitter social media channels, and have set up a dedicated web page for teachers and parents to download free lesson plans, activities, project ideas and fun facts about the ocean over the coming weeks.
They are also keen to share children’s favourite facts, stories and projects about the ocean online. Keep an eye on social media for updates, competitions and sharing new stories about the ocean.
Global Action Plan Ireland and the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School (INSS) shared their love for the ocean on Valentine’s Day with primary schools in Ballymun and Dun Laoghaire as part of the Marine Institute’s Explorers Education Programme.
With a Master’s degree in Marine Sustainability and a passion for sharing her love for the ocean, Eimear Manning, education officer with Global Action Plan Ireland, started an Explorers marine science project with over 25 children from Virgin Mary GNS in Ballymun, North Dublin.
Beginning this week, they will be exploring everything from plankton to sharks, and how climate change effects all creatures in the sea. Sharks are a speciality of Eimear’s, who joins frequent expeditions in Florida to tag and collect data on sharks off the Miami coast.
“I am really excited to be involved in the Explorers Education Programme and having their support providing clear objectives of how to increase marine engagement and ocean literacy in schools in Ireland,” she said.
“Having also recently represented Ireland at the All-Atlantic Ocean Research Forum in Brussels as an All-Atlantic Youth Ambassador has highlighted the importance of children engaging in our ocean.
“The involvement of youth in addressing how we enjoy and use our ocean resources helps to ensure we are better equipped to look after our environment now and into the future.”
Also involved in the pilot outreach training is Muriel Rumball from INSS, who brings a wealth of expertise to the team where she has been involved in teaching children about all aspects of the ocean, from marine recreation to formal education.
Running a seashore safari with students from Glenageary Killiney National School, Muriel highlighted the value of teaching children about the marine on the curriculum.
“I have worked with children for many years both in and out of school and it is extremely important that we give children the opportunity to extend their education relating to environmental care outdoors,” she said.
‘Exploring the seashore at our doorstep is key to ensuring we learn to truly value, love and engage with the ocean in a positive way’
“Sharing and seeing children touch, feel and smell the ocean as well as exploring the seashore at our doorstep is key to ensuring we learn to truly value, love and engage with the ocean in a positive way.”
Recently selected to take part in Explorers pilot training, the teams — along with four other outreach centres from Louth, Wexford and Limerick — took part in a three-day workshop in Galway run by Dr Noirin Burke of Galway Atlantaquaria and Cushla Dromgool-Regan of the Camden Education Trust.
“The training programme provided an excellent introduction for outreach centres wanting to learn more about how to introduce concepts of ocean literacy onto the curriculum, as well as support key aspects of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, with a particular reference to climate action and the ocean,” said Cushla, who is responsible for the strategic development and management of the Explorers Education Programme.
Welcoming the opportunity to support new centres and expand the Explorers reach around the country, Dr Burke added: “Initiatives like this help build on the success of the Explorers programme who have been working with primary schools for over fourteen years.
“We are delighted to be able to share our knowledge with the centres as well as help develop a stronger network of marine outreach professionals throughout Ireland.”
Dr Paul Connolly, chief executive of the Marine Institute, congratulated the Explorers training team and the centres in taking part in the pilot outreach training programme.
“Developing marine outreach that can support teachers in classrooms is key to ensuring children receive a unique experience of learning and engaging with the ocean,” he said. “In turn, this helps to equip children in becoming ocean leaders and marine champions of the future.”
For more information about the Explorers Education Programme see www.explorers.ie
Primary school children across Ireland are being invited to use the power of their imagination to save the ocean from climate change in a new art and writing competition.
“By bringing science, art and creative writing together, the aim of the ‘ocean superhero’ competition is to cultivate the children's imagination, creating new ideas and solutions when addressing issues of environmental care and climate change,” said Cushla Dromgool-Regan, Explorers Education manager from Camden Education Trust who is co-ordinating the contest.
“The idea of creating an ocean superhero aims to help create a sense of hope for children at a time of adversity in the world, when the impacts of climate change can seem extremely challenging.”
The winners will see their art work and stories showcased as part of the Marine Institute exhibit at SeaFest, Ireland’s largest maritime festival, from 14-17 May.
A shortlist of VIP winning classes will be invited to visit the Marine Institute’s research vessel and its exhibition at Seafest, where they will get to meet world-leading speakers and scientists who are all working towards Ireland’s challenge in responding and adapting to climate change.
The pupils completed a project module on sharks in Irish waters as part of the Marine Institute’s Explorers Education Programme, and also had the opportunity to visit the State research vessel.
Outreach officer Padraic Creedon of the Explorers Education Programme said one if the programme’s unique elements “is the content and support provided to teachers in the classroom in an easy and fun way.
“The students were inspired by the discovery of a rare shark nursery 200 miles off the west coast of Ireland in 2018, and we were delighted to create lessons, interactive experiments and discussion about the ocean, sharks and their environment for the class.”
While on board the RV Celtic Explorer, pupils met with the captain and scientists and saw what it might be like to work on a research vessel.
Students spoke with Captain Denis Ronan about the Celtic Explorer, and learn more about the acoustically silent ship that can stay out at sea for up to 35 days.
The pupils were excited to tour the vessel and speak with marine scientists to discover more about shark species, seabed mapping, shipwrecks and the marine environment.
Visiting the dry and wet labs, the pupils saw various fish species from recent surveys and shark species, such as dogfish and the tope shark.
Clár Ní Bhraonáin, teacher at Scoil Shéamais Naofa, said: “It has been an amazing experience … Students don’t forget days like this.”
The Explorers programme offers a range of materials including lesson plans to conduct experiments in class, watching films that helps generate discussion, and peer learning among pupils.
“Because of the students’ enthusiasm to learn more about sharks, we have been able to incorporate marine themes across the curriculum, where they have excelled and produced some incredible work, from writing books about sharks to a series of posters and artwork,” Ní Bhraonáin added.
“This project has really helped myself and the students learn more about the ocean.”
For more information on the Explorers Education outreach centres, visit the Explorers Contacts page at Explorers.ie. The programme is supported by the Marine Institute and is funded under the Marine Research Programme by the Government.
#MarineScience - Build Your Own Unknown, a marine science and art project by fourth-class pupils at Cregmore National School in Co Galway, has been shortlisted for the Allianz Business to Arts Awards.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Cregmore pupils worked with artist Louise Manifold to produce their installation and short film, using images and footage from the ROV Holland I for inspiration in recreating the discovery of the Moytirra deep-sea hydrothermal vents in 2011.
The project — which places art, marine science and technology in the heart of the classroom — also involved TULCA in partnership with the Marine Institute’s Explorers Education Programme and marine scientist Dr Andy Wheeler from UCC.
Marine Institute chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan congratulated the team on their achievement and wished them luck for awards night.
“One of the greatest outcomes of the Build Your Own Unknown project was being able to provide an opportunity for artists, marine scientists and educators to work together to help engage and increase children, teachers and the wider community’s awareness about the importance of our ocean,” said Dr Heffernan.
The Allianz Business to Arts Awards recognise and champion the spirit of collaboration between businesses, artists and arts organisations that develop creative partnerships; bringing the arts and artists into mutually beneficial relationships across society.
The winners of this year’s Allianz Business to Arts Awards will be announced later this evening (Monday 4 September).
#MarineScience - Fourth-class pupils from Cregmore National School in Co Galway are creating a marine science and art installation and short film with artist Louise Manifold that re-enacts the 2011 discovery of the Moytirra deep-sea hydrothermal vents.
Build Your Own Unknown sees the school children use images and footage from the ROV Holland I for inspiration to recreate the discovery of the gigantic rock formations, ‘smoking’ lava vents over 10m high, and areas teeming with unusual species new to science at the Moytirra vent field in the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, some 3km below the surface north of the Azores.
Louise Manifold, the local artist leading the project, said: "As an artist I have always been fascinated by relationship between science and cinema, where often our connections to ocean is formed through our childhood imagination, from sci-fi films to childhood games and mythical stories.
“Build Your Own Unknown is not only about understanding our connections to the ocean, but it is about valuing human curiosity, and I am really enjoying the opportunity to work with the pupils of Cregmore to make an amazing piece of work that celebrates this."
Supported through the Marine Institute's Explorers Education Programme and the Tulca OFFshore programme, the marine science/art collaboration is welcomed by Marine Institute chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan.
"This is an innovative opportunity for artists, marine scientists and educators to engage and increase our awareness about the value, opportunities and societal benefits that the ocean provides us,” he said.
"Rediscovering the mystery of the ocean through the eyes of a scientist, the children have been given the opportunity to work with the Institute and Dr Andy Wheeler from UCC, who was the chief scientist on the research vessel RV Celtic Explorer, that had explored and aptly named Moytirra vents after a mythological Irish battlefield meaning plain of pillars.”
Build Your Own Unknown will be on show at SeaFest 2017, Ireland’s national maritime festival from 30 June to 2 July, which will promote the importance of ocean exploration as well as engage the wider community through visual arts.
The project will also include the development of cross-curricular education lesson plans and resources that teachers will be able to use for their own art-science project module. These will be available later this year at www.explorers.ie.
The Marine Institute's has announced that over five hundred teachers and 15,000 primary school children will benefit from its Explorers Education Programme this year. Recent expansion in funding has enabled outreach centres in ten counties around Ireland, to triple the number of teachers and children being introduced to marine themes in the classroom.
Providing the opportunity to learn about the importance of engaging with the sea, and strengthening our marine heritage and identity, the Explorer education officers introduce marine biodiversity and marine environmental awareness and care into the class room through a range of exciting STEM marine based modules including aquariums in the class, seashore safaris, as well as marine projects and workshops.
Dr Peter Heffernan, CEO of the Marine Institute congratulated the new centres on a successful delivery of the Explorers Programme in the last six months saying "increasing our awareness and understanding of the value, opportunities and societal benefits the ocean provides us is key to sustainably developing Ireland's marine resource which is ten times the size of its land mass."
As the state agency responsible for marine research and innovation "we welcome the opportunity to work with educators to promote the development on our thriving marine economy as well as protecting and conserving our rich marine biodiversity," Dr Heffernan further said.
The need for education in the marine sector at all levels is highlighted by Ireland's Integrated Marine Plan Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth noting Ireland's marine sector is a vibrant part of our national economy. Ireland's Ocean Economy SEMRU, NUI Galway report states that Ireland's marine economy in fisheries and seafood production, maritime transport, marine tourism, as well as in emerging sectors and research and development has a turnover of €4.5 Billion annually, providing over 16,000 jobs directly and 13,000 related jobs in the general economy, providing an additional €3.3 Billion in turnover annually.
The centres representing the Explorers Education Programme™ were selected as part of a national procurement process and include Leave No Trace, Redrose Developments, Galway Atlantaquaria, Loophead Summerhedge School, Seasynergy Marine Awareness and Activity centre, Lifetime Lab, Oceanics Surf School and Marine Education Centre and SeaLife Bray. The centres are located in Sligo, Donegal, Mayo, Galway, Clare, Kerry, Cork, Waterford, Wicklow and Dublin. Free lesson plans, teachers resources and more information about the Explorers Education Programme™ is available at www.explorers.ie
The Explorers Education Programme is supported by the Marine Institute, and funded under the Marine Research Programme by the Irish Government.
#MarineScience - The Explorers Education Programme has recently launched a free continuous professional development (CPD) course for primary school teachers in the West of Ireland, which can be carried out during Croke Park hours.
The new CPD course provides an "exciting opportunity for teachers to develop interesting ways of introducing cross-curricular ocean themes into their school planning, class activities as well as seashore fieldwork,” said Dr Noirin Burke, education director at Galway Atlantaquaria.
The course uses a number of key education methodologies, including inquiry-based learning and fieldwork planning, that links to the national curriculum. The course is flexible in which it can be carried out at Galway Atlantaquaria, Salthill Promenade, Galway or at the school.
Dr Peter Heffernan, chief executive of the Marine Institute – which funds the Explorers progamme – congratulated Galway Atlantaquaria for delivering the CPD course in Galway.
"We welcome the opportunity to support educators and teachers through the Explorers Education Programme recognising the importance of our personal connection with the ocean.
“The ocean has a significant impact on our wellbeing, health and economy and it is great to see this being picked up in the classroom."
To book a place or for more information, email the Explorers education team at Galway Atlantaquaria at [email protected] or call 091 585 100.
#MarineScience - The Marine Institute’s Explorers Education Programme is growing and is now available in Galway, Clare, Mayo, Cork and Waterford, delivered by centres including Galway Atlantaquaria, Loop Head Summer Hedge School, Redrose Developments, Lifetime Lab and Oceanic Surf School and the Marine Education Centre.
The centres will be introducing marine-based education modules to more than 3,000 primary school children during the next school year (2016-2017), promoting the importance of our ocean through saltwater aquariums in classrooms, seashore safaris, marine projects, marine workshops and special science and art projects.
Marine Institute chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan congratulated the centres on joining the Explorers Education Programme, highlighting that “their expertise and enthusiasm for our oceans provides an important platform for teaching marine themes in the classroom and helps to support and reconnect teachers and their students with the marine environment.
“As an Island nation with a seabed territory 10 times greater than the size of the island of Ireland, it is fundamental that we realise the value, opportunities and social benefits the ocean provides us.
"On a daily basis the ocean produces over half the oxygen we breath, provides us with food and supports the tiniest microscopic plants to the largest animals on earth. It is therefore essential that we learn about the influence the ocean has on us and the influence we have on the ocean."
As part of the development of the programme, Galway Atlantaquaria – Ireland's national aquarium – has been contracted to provide professional development training and workshops for teachers in schools as well as assist with workshops for trainee teachers at DCU-St Patrick’s, introducing marine themes into the curriculum.
“Recognising the unique position teachers have to inspire their students, the institute welcomes the opportunity to help teachers generate curiosity among their students to learn more about our ocean wealth as well as realize some of the amazing marine career opportunities,” said Cushla Dromgool-Regan, responsible for the strategic development of education at the Marine Institute.
Details of Explorers Education Programme modules and the centre contacts are available at www.explorers.ie. Booking to take part in the modules is essential and teachers should contact the relevant outreach centres listed on the site.
Centres selected to represent the Explorers Education Programme were chosen in line with the public sector procurement guidelines. The programme is supported by the Marine Institute and is funded under the Marine Research Programme by the Irish Government.
#MarineScience - Applications are now open for primary schools that wish to take part in marine-related activities and workshops for the 2015-16 school year as part of the Explorers Education Programme.
The programme's new module system, introduced in 2014, "allows for more students and teachers to get involved in marine projects, seashore safaris, having aquariums in the class, or taking part in a number of exciting marine workshops at their local education centre or at Galway Atlantaquaria," says Cushla Dromgool-Regan of the Marine Institute.
These modules include:
- Explorers Aquarium in the Classroom: This involves students running a saltwater aquarium of native species for up to four weeks in their classroom.
- Explorers Marine Project: Students will carry out a marine based project in school. Project topics can include Marine Biodiversity, Marine Litter, or science on the Research Vessel Celtic Explorer.
- Explorers Seashore Safari: Accompanied by the Explorers Education Officer, the students will visit their local shoreline to examine the plant and animal life present and their adaptations to life.
- Explorer Workshops at Galway, Mayo, Clare and Sligo education centres: These workshops will last around two hours and will cover the Real Map of Ireland, marine biodiversity around Ireland, characteristics of living things and a squid dissection. Teachers will be asked to complete one Explorer's lesson plan post visit and a half day visit by an Explorers Education Officer will review this work and recap on the materials covered.
Science workshops will also be available to all Explorers schools at Galway Atlantaquaria between October 2015 and March 2016 at a discounted price of €5 per students for a two-hour workshop. For more information call 091-585100.
Teachers can send their applications to their local education centres in Galway, Clare, Mayo and Sligo highlighting how the Explorers Education Programme will be beneficial to their class, school and community. Applications must be submitted before 4pm on Friday 18 September.
Application forms and additional information about the modules, as well as free teaching materials, are available to download at www.explorers.ie. For any queries relating to the Explorers Education Programme contact [email protected]
The Explorers programme continues to run in Dublin and Cork in association with the Blackrock Education Centre, the National Sea Life Centre Bray and the Lifetime Lab in Cork. More information about their workshops will be issued later in the year.
The Explorers Education Programme is supported by the Marine Institute, and is funded under the Marine Research Programme by the Irish Government.