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Teachers Learn About Cockles, Mussels... Alive, Alive-O at Training Workshop

9th July 2013
Teachers Learn About Cockles, Mussels... Alive, Alive-O at Training Workshop

#marinescience – The Marine Institute and Galway Atlantaquaria recently (1st – 5th July) held a seven day teachers training course at Grattan beach and at the aquarium, where over twenty five primary school teachers were introduced to Ireland's marine resource, oceans and the seashore.

School teachers developed new skills and techniques that they can use in and out of the classroom. Ms Bernie Murphy of Scoil Chroí íosa in Galway said, "the time spent on the seashore and experiments in class provided us with a wonderful opportunity to re-engage with our local seashore and become more aware of how useful the beach is as a teaching resource."

Ms Anne Gilmore further added, "we now feel able to identify and tell the wonderful stories about the many species and their habitats along the seashore including cockles, mussels and even the common barnacle - which has a very interesting social life. Learning about the oceans and Ireland's marine resource provided us all with the inspiration to teach students about the marine in fun ways using subjects such as english, art, mathematics, geography, history and science".

The Marine Institute and Galway Atlantaquaria welcomed the opportunity to run the summer course "Linking Science, Numeracy and Literacy by exploring the Seashore and River", which was offered through the Galway Education Centre and approved by the Board of Education.

"Developing workshops for teachers and providing materials and resources for primary schools is an invaluable way to promote Ireland's marine resource and to inspire students with their career choices in the future. As part of the national plan to 'Harness our Ocean Wealth', it is therefore vitally important that students and our local communities are aware of the significant ties we have with the ocean," explained Cushla Dromgool-Regan from the Marine Institute.

"The course uses materials available from the Explorers Education website, where teachers are encouraged to take advantage of the vast resources made available by the unique marine environment and help promote marine knowledge throughout Ireland".

The Explorers Education programme is sponsored by the Marine Institute and run by Galway Atlantaquaria. It is used by over 50 schools and reaches 5000 primary school students across Ireland, from Galway, Mayo, Clare, Dublin and Cork.

Published in Marine Science Team

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Marine Science Perhaps it is the work of the Irish research vessel RV Celtic Explorer out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of marine research, development and sustainable management, through which Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. From Wavebob Ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration these pages document the work of Irish marine science and how Irish scientists have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.


At A Glance – Ocean Facts

  • 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by the ocean
  • The ocean is responsible for the water cycle, which affects our weather
  • The ocean absorbs 30% of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity
  • The real map of Ireland has a seabed territory ten times the size of its land area
  • The ocean is the support system of our planet.
  • Over half of the oxygen we breathe was produced in the ocean
  • The global market for seaweed is valued at approximately €5.4 billion
  • · Coral reefs are among the oldest ecosystems in the world — at 230 million years
  • 1.9 million people live within 5km of the coast in Ireland
  • Ocean waters hold nearly 20 million tons of gold. If we could mine all of the gold from the ocean, we would have enough to give every person on earth 9lbs of the precious metal!
  • Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector in the world – Ireland is ranked 7th largest aquaculture producer in the EU
  • The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world, covering 20% of the earth’s surface. Out of all the oceans, the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest
  • The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world. It’s bigger than all the continents put together
  • Ireland is surrounded by some of the most productive fishing grounds in Europe, with Irish commercial fish landings worth around €200 million annually
  • 97% of the earth’s water is in the ocean
  • The ocean provides the greatest amount of the world’s protein consumed by humans
  • Plastic affects 700 species in the oceans from plankton to whales.
  • Only 10% of the oceans have been explored.
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year, equal to dumping a garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute.
  • 12 humans have walked on the moon but only 3 humans have been to the deepest part of the ocean.

(Ref: Marine Institute)

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