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15,000 School Children to Benefit from Marine Education Programme in 2017

16th February 2017
Over five hundred teachers will benefit from the fund Over five hundred teachers will benefit from the fund

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.

Published in Marine Science

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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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