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Explorers Ocean Champions Project Launch to Celebrate International Education Day  

1st February 2022
The Explorers Ocean Champions project and awards highlights the Marine Institute’s aim to help encourage marine education and engagement at a community level
The Explorers Ocean Champions project and awards highlights the Marine Institute’s aim to help encourage marine education and engagement at a community level

The Marine Institute’s Explorers Education programme has launched the Explorers We Are Ocean Champions School Project module and Awards this week, recognising the UN’s international education day - Changing Course, Transforming Education.

The Explorers new school project module adopts an all-school approach where the Explorers outreach teams around Ireland will work with teachers and children, developing their own healthy ocean project to inspire and engage their school and community to become ocean champions.

“The Explorers Ocean Champions project and awards highlights the Marine Institute’s aim to help encourage marine education and engagement at a community level,” said Ms Patricia Orme, Director, Marine Institute. “Schools working in collaboration with the Explorers outreach teams and their local communities, will gain a better understanding of our ocean and is a fantastic opportunity to inspire our younger generation, creating ocean champions and leaders of the future.”

The project and awards focus on the concept of healthy oceans and marine environmental care, with the aim that children will identify issues or challenges that affect the ocean and then develop a project to explore solutions. Throughout the project the children will work together with the Explorers outreach teams, their school, friends, family, and local community, helping to raise awareness and engagement about the ocean. This may include organising community beach cleans, development of science projects and artwork, to organising school drama, songs or public speaking competitions about the ocean.

Primary schools may apply to work on a school project with their regional Explorers Outreach centres.

“Adopting an all-school approach to complete this project is an excellent opportunity for children to develop their own skills and their relationships with their community and the environment. A significant part of the project is taking what they have learned and using it to creative positive actions to improve the ocean’s health,” explained Cushla Dromgool-Regan, Strategic Education and Communications Manager, Explorers Education Programme, Camden Education Trust.

“We hope that the scope of this project will appeal to primary schools, where the cross-curricular nature of the activities and support from the outreach teams will allow the children, their teachers, and their community to engage with the ocean in a creative manner and focus on an issue that interests them,” Ms Dromgool-Regan added.

There are three categories, where the school project must adopt a Healthy Ocean theme include: Marine Cross Curricular and STEAM school project; Ocean Literacy and Sustainable Development Goals creative school project; and Marine Outdoor school project. More information about the school project and awards can be found on the Explorers website.

Each school and outreach centre will submit their projects, showing the impact and engagement of the children’s work. Project submissions will be judged by a team of marine and education experts, where the winners will receive a Marine Institute Ocean Champion award for their school. Winners of the awards will be announced around World Ocean Day on the 8th June.

For more information about the Explorers Education Programme see The Explorers Education Programme is funded by the Marine Institute, Ireland's state agency for marine research and development.

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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