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Galway Teachers Discover Their Local Seashore During 'Explorers' Training

9th July 2014
Galway Teachers Discover Their Local Seashore During 'Explorers' Training

#Marine - Local primary school teachers in Galway have just finished a week-long training course (1-5 July) on how to incorporate marine studies into their schools through fun activities and projects.

Sea for Society (EU FP7 project) research last year across a number of EU countries found that ‘ignorance’ and ‘lack of understanding’ are key barriers to the development of a sustainable marine ecosystem.

The Marine Institute and Galway Atlantaquaria tackled this barrier by introducing teachers to their local seashore, using it as a unique teaching resource.

“Through the Explorers Education Programme and teachers' training course, we provide an opportunity for teachers to learn about their local seashore as well develop an understanding about the importance of Ireland’s marine resource and ocean wealth,” said the Marine Institute's Cushla Dromgool-Regan.

Offering a wide range of cross-curricular activities involving science, mathematics, English, geography, history and art, the programme is intended to help teachers feel more confident and enabled to innovate and inspire students in learning about the marine.

”The Explorers' annual teacher’s training course has been run through the Galway Education centre for nearly eight years and continues to be popular with teachers, booking up early each year," Dromgool-Regan added.

One of the teachers on the most recent course, Bróna Smyth of Scoil Mhuire in Maree, said it was "invaluable in offering practical concepts that can be used on the seashore and in class by interlinking the subjects.

"The hands-on approach, learning about species and seaweeds, making seashore keys, collecting marine litter data for graphs, completing water experiments to creating seashore poetry and stories are all key to embedding the understanding of how important the ocean is and how it impacts our daily lives.”

Primary school teaching materials relating to the seashore and marine are available through the Explorers Education Programme at www.explorers.ie.

Published in Marine Science
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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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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