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Minister McConalogue Presents the Marine Institute’s Explorers National Ocean Champions Award to Pupils of Scoil Cholmchille in Malin, Co Donegal

24th October 2022
Charlie McConalogue TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine presented the Marine Institute’s Explorers Ocean Champion winning national award to Jack McLaughlin (Past Pupil), Noah McDaid, Lily Doherty and Gavin McColgan (past pupil) representing their school Scoil Cholmcille, Glengad in Donegal, stating the Marine Institute Explorers Ocean Champion awards recognise the effort, commitment and collaboration of the children, their teachers, and the wider community, working together to learn about the importance of the ocean, as well as our unique maritime culture and heritage
Charlie McConalogue TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine presented the Marine Institute’s Explorers Ocean Champion winning national award to Jack McLaughlin (Past Pupil), Noah McDaid, Lily Doherty and Gavin McColgan (past pupil) representing their school Scoil Cholmcille, Glengad in Donegal, stating the Marine Institute Explorers Ocean Champion awards recognise the effort, commitment and collaboration of the children, their teachers, and the wider community, working together to learn about the importance of the ocean, as well as our unique maritime culture and heritage Credit: Brendan Diver

Scoil Cholmchille primary school pupils in Malin, Co Donegal have been presented with the inaugural national prize for the Marine Institute’s Explorers Ocean Champions Award by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue TD, today, 24th October 2022.

Congratulating the pupils, Minister McConalogue said “the Explorers Ocean Champion awards recognises the effort, commitment and collaboration of the children, their teachers and the wider community, working together to learn about the importance of the ocean, as well as our unique maritime culture and heritage. I warmly congratulate all of the children of Scoil Cholmchille on winning this award for creating what is a unique and inspirational project and wish to thank their teachers and members of the local community in Malin who assisted them”.

As part of the Explorers Ocean Champion Project and Awards initiative, the Programme Manager, Camden Education Trust, and the Explorers Programme outreach teams have worked with 28 primary schools, reaching up to 3,500 children and 124 teachers across 13 coastal counties, creating ‘healthy ocean’ projects covering themes from STEM, outdoor education, through to the arts and ocean literacy.

Charlie McConalogue TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine joins the Explorers team Dr Noirín Burke and William McElhinney to see the Explorers CSI Learning about Squid marine lessons in class at Scoil Cholmcille, Glengad in Donegal, during his visit while presenting the Marine Institute’s Explorers Ocean Champion Awards to the school. Left to right Dr Noirin Burke, Keelan McDaid, Tiernan McColgan, Gavin McColgan, William McElhinney, Patricia Orme (Marine Institute Corporate Services Director) Mary Harkin (School Principal), John McGuinness (Councillor) Lucy Kelly and Aela Doherty. Photo Brendan DiverCharlie McConalogue TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine joins the Explorers team Dr Noirín Burke and William McElhinney to see the Explorers CSI Learning about Squid marine lessons in class at Scoil Cholmcille, Glengad in Donegal, during his visit while presenting the Marine Institute’s Explorers Ocean Champion Awards to the school. Left to right Dr Noirin Burke, Keelan McDaid, Tiernan McColgan, Gavin McColgan, William McElhinney, Patricia Orme (Marine Institute Corporate Services Director) Mary Harkin (School Principal), John McGuinness (Councillor) Lucy Kelly and Aela Doherty. Photo Brendan Diver

Minister McConalogue added, “I am delighted to see so many schools from across Ireland participating in the programme and I want to congratulate all the children who completed Ocean Champion projects around the country. Projects such as this enable a shared understanding of the impact the ocean has on our lives, as well as the impact we have on the ocean and helps to ensure that we are better informed to protect and manage this valuable resource.”

School principal Mary Harkin welcoming the award said; “We are absolutely delighted to have won the national prize for the Explorer's Ocean Champion Award. Our pupils are innately interested in the maritime heritage of their local coastal area and are keenly aware of the importance of the sea, as a life- giving source, as well as being very conscious of the dangers inherent in making a living from the sea. We view this award as testament to the close working, supportive relationship between the school and the local community and we would like to dedicate this award to all those from the area who have lost their lives to the sea.

For their project ‘Save our Seas’, the children learned about the links between the local community and the marine environment. They also engaged in real marine science activities taking and examining plankton samples from the ocean, learning the lifecycle of salmon, and also studying local seaweeds. The children created songs, ‘Save our Seas’ posters and engaged with local traditional boat builders led by John Bonner and their community, to learn about boats and local fishing practices”.

 Charlie McConalogue TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine joins from left, Christopher Johnson (Boat Builder) Williema McElhinney (Explorers Education Programme Outreach officer in Donegal, Leave no trace Ireland) Pupils Noah McDaid and Lily Doherty, Annemarie Monagle (boat builder) John Bonner, (traditional boat builder in Glengad) and Peter Doherty (Boat builder),  to learn more about local marine heritage and traditional boat building, at Scoil Cholmcille, Glengad in Donegal, during his visit while presenting the Marine Institute’s Explorers Ocean Champion Awards to the school. Photo Brendan Diver. Charlie McConalogue TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine joins from left, Christopher Johnson (Boat Builder) Williema McElhinney (Explorers Education Programme Outreach officer in Donegal, Leave no trace Ireland) Pupils Noah McDaid and Lily Doherty, Annemarie Monagle (boat builder) John Bonner, (traditional boat builder in Glengad) and Peter Doherty (Boat builder), to learn more about local marine heritage and traditional boat building, at Scoil Cholmcille, Glengad in Donegal, during his visit while presenting the Marine Institute’s Explorers Ocean Champion Awards to the school. Photo Brendan Diver.

The Marine Institute Funded Explorers Education Programme has been delivering marine-themed modules to classes for nearly 15 years. The Explorers outreach team brings together scientists, teachers, outreach teams and communities together, inspiring the education network to create marine leaders and ocean champions.

Patricia Orme, Corporate Services Director, Marine Institute said: “Collaborative school projects that involve the community and which have cross generational engagement such as this one, build understanding of the ocean and our unique maritime heritage. I want to congratulate the children and teachers from Scoil Cholmchille and also thank the local Community for their enthusiasm and generosity in sharing their knowledge and experience. We also want to congratulate the other teachers and children who took part in the school projects around Ireland. From beach cleans, working with musicians to create impactful songs, to creating public notice boards at beaches, all of the projects highlighted the importance of our marine resource and enabled communities working together to come up with inspiring solutions."

Awards by Category:

Overall winner of the Marine Institute’s Explorers Ocean Champion School 2021-2022: ‘Award of Excellence for the Best Healthy Ocean’ school project in Ireland: Scoil Cholmchille, Malin, Co. Donegal.

Award of Excellence – Outdoor Education: S.N. Réalt na Mara, Rosses Point, Co Sligo - ‘The H.O.M.E Project’

Award of Excellence – Ocean Literacy Creative Project: Scoil Réalt na Mara, Cill Orglan, Co Kerry - ‘We are Ocean Champions’

Award of Excellence – Cross Curricular & STEAM: Scoil Iósaif Naofa Oranmore Boys NS, Oranmore, Co Galway - ‘Ocean Award Because We Care’

Award of Excellence – Cross Curricular & STEM: Rathmichael Parish NS, Rathmichael, Co Dublin - ‘The Marine Team’

Judges Award: Claddagh National School, Galway City, Co Galway - ‘Our Oceans, Alive and Healthy: Song and Podcast’

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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