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Displaying items by tag: Explorers marine education

#MarineScience - The Explorers Marine Education programme aimed at primary schools has been re-launched in Galway with over 45 schools now taking part in the expanded programme.

Gearing up to celebrate Maths Week (14-18 October), Explorer workshops are being held at Galway Atlantaquaria where primary school pupils will develop maths skills as well as learn about the ocean and Ireland’s seashores.

Supporting the programme for the new school year, Galway Education Centre director Bernard Kirk said: “With over 1,000 primary school students now ready to take part in the Explorers programme, the schools selected are sure to develop an inspiration and enthusiasm for the marine.

"Skills will also be developed through a range of cross-curricular subjects including maths, science, geography, literacy and the arts. The level of interest from teachers is a testament to the programme and we hope it will continue to grow.”

The Marine Institute and Galway Atlantaquaria originally set up the Explorers Education Programme more than eight years ago with the aim of ensuring that primary school pupils developed an interest in Ireland’s marine resources and their future development early in their education.

Explorers education officer Dr Noirin Burke, who will be visiting participating schools, said: “Having a better understanding of our marine environment often begins in the classroom. So by generating a passion in this area, we can bring social, cultural and economic benefits to our communities.

"I’m really looking forward to working with the schools over the next year where the students will learn about our oceans, marine species and Ireland’s marine resource.”

The Explorers programme will involve the unique use of saltwater aquariums in the classroom; seashore safaris on local beaches; marine-based projects about species, habitats and environmental care; as well as a range of workshops offered during Maths, Science and Engineering Weeks. Students and teachers will then be presented with an Explorer Certificate of Participation.

The Explorers programme continues to run in Clare, Mayo, Dublin and Cork in association with partners Galway Atlantaquaria, Blackrock Education Centre, Sea Life Centre Bray and the Lifetime Lab in Cork.

Explorers teaching materials, including a wide maths lesson plans and worksheets, are available to download free of charge at www.explorers.ie

Published in Marine Science

Galway Atlantaquaria who, with the Marine Institute, Forfas Discover Primary Science and others are partners in the Explorers marine education and outreach programme, have achieved their second prestigious award - Best Education Project : Public and General Visitor 2010 - from the Britain and Ireland Association of Zoos and Aquaria (BIAZA) for their marine education and outreach activities.

The award, was presented at Paignton Zoo Environmental Park, Devon by Adrian Sanders MP and was given for the "Galway Marine Month of Madness" event, organised by the Atlantaquaria with help from the other Explorers partners during the month of May this year.

Speaking for the Atlantaquaria, Marketing Executive Colette Lavin said that the award was a tribute not only to the Atlantaquaria but to all those involved in the month-long celebration. "A lot of people put a lot of heart and hard work into the individual events that made up the Month of Marine Madness," she said. "And while this second BIAZA award is the most tangible benefit of all this, I really believe that the biggest reward for all our efforts is the raised awareness of the value of our oceans and seas, not only to Galway, but to the rest of the country."

The calendar of events was launched by Galway's Deputy Mayor Mr. Peter Keane at Salthill beach and events arranged during the Month of Marine Madness ranged from seashore safaris, diving lessons, scientific lectures, nature walks and angling demonstrations, to a series of free seminars at the Atlantaquaria on such subjects as Baleen Whales, Slimy

Seaweed, the value of outdoor education, and Pirates! The First Entrepreneurs. A highlight of the calendar was the 'Largest Beach Clean Up in Ireland' which took place on Sunday 18th of May. Over 2,000 members of the public took part in the various events which included a tour of the national research vessel RV Celtic Explorer by 280 pupils from local primary schools.

Speaking for the Explorers Programme, Dr. John Joyce of the Marine Institute said that the effort put in by Colette and her team had raised awareness of the sea to a whole new level in Galway during the month of May. "While Explorers is targeted primarily at raising awareness of the sea in schools, Colette and the Galway Atlantaquaria have shown us how we can raise that awareness to a whole new level by reaching out into the wider community. Last year, the Volvo Ocean Race vividly demonstrated the value of the sea to Galway in terms of tourism revenue. Clearly, the way is open to build on that awareness
and to use our creativity in finding new ways that Galway can profit - financially, educationally and environmentally – from marine related events."

Galway Atlantaquaria, the Marine Institute and the other partners in the Explorers programme celebrated the launch of National Science Week on Sunday 7th November with a Sunday Funday entitled "Our Plaice in Space" to celebrate the connections between outer and inner space.

Later in the month, on November 21st, the Explorers Programme will be present at the Galway Science and Technology Festival in NUI Galway.

Published in Marine Science

Coastal Notes Coastal Notes covers a broad spectrum of stories, events and developments in which some can be quirky and local in nature, while other stories are of national importance and are on-going, but whatever they are about, they need to be told.

Stories can be diverse and they can be influential, albeit some are more subtle than others in nature, while other events can be immediately felt. No more so felt, is firstly to those living along the coastal rim and rural isolated communities. Here the impact poses is increased to those directly linked with the sea, where daily lives are made from earning an income ashore and within coastal waters.

The topics in Coastal Notes can also be about the rare finding of sea-life creatures, a historic shipwreck lost to the passage of time and which has yet many a secret to tell. A trawler's net caught hauling more than fish but cannon balls dating to the Napoleonic era.

Also focusing the attention of Coastal Notes, are the maritime museums which are of national importance to maintaining access and knowledge of historical exhibits for future generations.

Equally to keep an eye on the present day, with activities of existing and planned projects in the pipeline from the wind and wave renewables sector and those of the energy exploration industry.

In addition Coastal Notes has many more angles to cover, be it the weekend boat leisure user taking a sedate cruise off a long straight beach on the coast beach and making a friend with a feathered companion along the way.

In complete contrast is to those who harvest the sea, using small boats based in harbours where infrastructure and safety poses an issue, before they set off to ply their trade at the foot of our highest sea cliffs along the rugged wild western seaboard.

It's all there, as Coastal Notes tells the stories that are arguably as varied to the environment from which they came from and indeed which shape people's interaction with the surrounding environment that is the natural world and our relationship with the sea.

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