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Primary Schools' Marine Education Programme Expands

12th September 2016
Primary Schools' Marine Education Programme Expands

#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.

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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