Displaying items by tag: education
Dive deep into the oceans of learning resources available on the Marine Institute’s website via the Oceans of Learning series, which offers downloadable resources, videos and interactive activities exploring our marine resource and marine scientists’ vital work.
That’s never been easier today, as students of all ages can go online and discover, for instance, the importance of Ireland’s marine research vessels — the RV Celtic Explorer and RV Celtic Voyager — and jump on board the former for a 3D virtual tour.
Elsewhere, you can navigate a range of marine topics through the awareness campaign Exploring Our Marine, and learn about weather buoys, phytoplankton, deep-sea species and Ireland’s ocean economy.
The Marine Institute’s Explorers Education Programme also offers lesson plans about the ocean for teachers, parents and primary school children to use while schooling from home.
Other educational initiatives supported by the Marine Institute include the documentary series Ireland’s Deep Atlantic.
The well-received series features in online classroom resources for Junior Cycle students and explores sustainable development, impact on the environment, the Real Map of Ireland and the importance of our ocean territory. Lesson plans and video clips from the documentary are available from the RTÉ Learn website.
Other online learning programmes recently highlighted on Afloat.ie include the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group’s Flukey Friday, and the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School’s Sailing School from Home.
Twenty-five Transition Year (TY) students from Mayo, Galway, Roscommon, Clare, Kildare, Carlingford, Dublin and Sligo were welcomed to the Marine Institute’s sixth annual TY week programme following the recent midterm break.
From 24-28 February, students had the opportunity to learn about marine science, technology, engineering and communication through a range of activities at the Marine Institute's headquarters in Oranmore, Co Galway.
Students participated in interactive activities related to marine fisheries and chemical science, seabed mapping, food safety, communications, research vessel operations, oceanography, climate change, engineering technology, maritime development, information technology with data and coding as well as team-building.
The TY programme enables students to shadow scientists and staff at the Marine Institute and experience what it is like to work in the marine sector.
Marine Institute chief executive Dr Paul Connolly said: “Our TY programme provides an insight into the diverse career opportunities on offer in Ireland’s marine sector, and inspire the next generation of marine professionals and ocean leaders.
“Increasing students’ knowledge and engagement on the importance of our marine resource is key to supporting Ireland’s ocean economy, where highly-skilled professionals are needed in the future.”
HR manager Catherine Quigley-Johnston added: “The demand for our TY programme is growing every year and it is great to see such a strong interest in science, technology and the environment and that many are considering pursuing careers in our marine and maritime sectors at this stage of their education.
“Alongside the interest and enthusiasm from our students, the passion and knowledge shared by our teams involved in delivering the content helps make the TY programme a success."
Encouraging a new generation to pursue marine and maritime careers is part of the Marine Institute’s Strategic Plan 2018-2022: Building Ocean Knowledge, Delivering Ocean Services.
Ireland's national marine plan, Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth, also highlights the need for education and training programmes to maintain and develop skilled professionals in the marine sector.
All places for this year’s TY programme have been allocated, but next year’s Transition Year students, from any school in Ireland, are welcome to apply for the week-long, full-time programme at the Marine Institute for 2021 when the process begins in September.
Ireland’s Deep Atlantic — produced by Sea Fever Productions and supported by the Marine Institute, BAI and the Environmental Protection Agency — sees filmmaker Ken O'Sullivan embark on a series of voyages in the North Atlantic in search of blue whales, sharks and deep-water coral reefs.
O’Sullivan filmed part of the series on board the Marine Institute’s research vessel the RV Celtic Explorer and documented coral reefs at a depth of 3,000 metres using the ROV Holland 1.
The series joins two other Irish-produced and publicly funded TV programmes used to create the new online classroom resources.
Business Studies students will use the series, including video clips of the RV Celtic Explorer and scientists, to learn about consumer behaviour and sustainable development, and the impact of economic growth on society and the environment.
Geography students, meanwhile, will learn about the ‘Real Map of Ireland’ and the importance of Ireland's ocean territory. The students will also learn about the exploitation of water, fish stocks, forestry, and soil and the relationships between the physical world, tourism and transport.
Ken O’Sullivan welcomed the new resources, saying: “It’s just wonderful now to realise that every teenager in Ireland will see our beautiful, fertile oceans and learn not just about the rich life within them, but the impact of human behaviour on our oceans with things like consumer spending habits, marine plastics and also the value of eco-tourism to coastal communities.
“Ireland’s Deep Atlantic is the first documentary to be used in this way and the platform has now been built for RTÉ to host many more publicly funded documentaries in this way for the secondary school education curriculum.”
Teachers and students can access the educational material and the programme clips referenced from the RTÉ Learn website.
The pupils completed a project module on sharks in Irish waters as part of the Marine Institute’s Explorers Education Programme, and also had the opportunity to visit the State research vessel.
Outreach officer Padraic Creedon of the Explorers Education Programme said one if the programme’s unique elements “is the content and support provided to teachers in the classroom in an easy and fun way.
“The students were inspired by the discovery of a rare shark nursery 200 miles off the west coast of Ireland in 2018, and we were delighted to create lessons, interactive experiments and discussion about the ocean, sharks and their environment for the class.”
While on board the RV Celtic Explorer, pupils met with the captain and scientists and saw what it might be like to work on a research vessel.
Students spoke with Captain Denis Ronan about the Celtic Explorer, and learn more about the acoustically silent ship that can stay out at sea for up to 35 days.
The pupils were excited to tour the vessel and speak with marine scientists to discover more about shark species, seabed mapping, shipwrecks and the marine environment.
Visiting the dry and wet labs, the pupils saw various fish species from recent surveys and shark species, such as dogfish and the tope shark.
Clár Ní Bhraonáin, teacher at Scoil Shéamais Naofa, said: “It has been an amazing experience … Students don’t forget days like this.”
The Explorers programme offers a range of materials including lesson plans to conduct experiments in class, watching films that helps generate discussion, and peer learning among pupils.
“Because of the students’ enthusiasm to learn more about sharks, we have been able to incorporate marine themes across the curriculum, where they have excelled and produced some incredible work, from writing books about sharks to a series of posters and artwork,” Ní Bhraonáin added.
“This project has really helped myself and the students learn more about the ocean.”
For more information on the Explorers Education outreach centres, visit the Explorers Contacts page at Explorers.ie. The programme is supported by the Marine Institute and is funded under the Marine Research Programme by the Government.
Last week the Marine Institute’s headquarters in Oranmore, Co Galway welcomed 22 Transition year students to its fifth annual TY training week.
Students from Galway, Mayo, Clare, Roscommon, Dublin and Waterford engaged in a range of STEM-related activities to experience what it is like to work in the marine sector.
The TY students shadowed scientists and staff at the Marine Institute, learning about marine science, technology and asasociated disciplines.
They also engaged in a range of presentations and interactive activities related to fisheries science, marine chemistry, seabed mapping, food safety, research vessel operations, maritime development, oceanography and marine climate, data, applications development, team-building and communications.
“Increasing students’ knowledge on the importance of our marine resource, is key to supporting Ireland's ocean economy, where highly skilled professionals are needed in the future,” said Marine Institute chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan.
“Our TY Week programme aims to inspire a new generation of marine professionals, and provides an insight into the diverse career opportunities on offer in Ireland’s marine sector.”
TY students from any school in Ireland are welcome to apply for this week-long, full-time work experience opportunity at the Marine Institute for 2020. Further details on the application process will be available later this year.
Waterways Ireland and Leave No Trace Ireland are working in partnership again to deliver their River Explorers programme.
River Explorers engages local primary school children to take pride in their local river, lake or canal.
Funding was successfully secured during 2018 to run the programme from a number of local authorities including Cavan, Longford, Fingal, Kilkenny, Limerick and Clare.
The programme runs throughout February and March, and for 2019 increases from 17 to 20 days given the additional level of funding secured.
The programme will be taking place at the 12th Lock in Castleknock and Richmond Harbour, Clondra on the Royal Canal; Twomilegate on the Shannon; Ballyconnell on the Shannon-Erne Waterway; and Graiguenamanagh on the Barrow.
Waterways Ireland says schools have been “very eager” to participate in the programme, with all available sessions now fully booked.
River Explorers is a one-day programme which aims to enable participants to become aware of the geographical location, leisure potential and biodiversity value of their local river, lake or canal through outdoor and hands-on learning, skills training, resource development and raising public awareness.
“Creating positive memories, healthy lifestyles, and physical wellbeing as well as paving the way for creating opportunities for caring for our natural heritage are all integral facets of a project that has sustainability at its core,” says Waterways Ireland.
“This project will empower primary school students to connect with their natural environment and enjoy their natural heritage responsibly and ethically.”
Each participating school group will take part in classroom-based sessions in the morning followed by outdoor sessions in the afternoon at their local waterway.
“The idea in the morning session is to impart the knowledge and skills the participants need to understand how to identify the wealth of biodiversity on the local rivers and canals, be able to anticipate how their use of these waterways impacts on this and the measures they can take to minimise this impact,” the organisers explain.
“The afternoon session is about putting the knowledge and skills learned in the classroom into practice. Students will have the opportunity to discover the vast array of wildlife that calls the inland waterways their home.
“Each group will learn how to identify some of the plants and trees along canal and river banks and even come face to face with some mini-beasts living in these ecosystems.
“Leave No Trace Ireland and Waterways Ireland are delighted to partner in the delivery of what promises to be an excellent education programme.”
The Marine Institute has welcomed Irish commitments announced at the recent Our Ocean Conference in Bali which include the provision of €25 million for a 50-metre modern research vessel to replace the RV Celtic Voyager.
“The vessel will provide critical national infrastructure to enable Ireland to address the considerable challenges of Brexit and the Common Fisheries Policy as well as climate-induced impacts on our oceans,” Marine Institute chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan said.
In addition, the Marine Institute says it has committed €2 million towards a new five-year programme of ocean and climate research.
With 50% funding from the EU ERDF scheme, the Marine Institute is running a competitive funding call to support the establishment of a principal investigator-led research team in an Irish higher education iSnstitution.
“This is a key investment to build capacity in an area of research prioritised under the National Marine Research and Innovation Strategy (2017-2021),” Dr Heffernan said.
“The research funded under this programme will deliver societally relevant knowledge aimed at better understanding the complex interactions between the ocean and climate change.”
Minister Creed also announced the continued commitment to the Environmental Educational module of Ireland’s Green Schools programme, and the continued support of the Clean Coasts programme.
“These programmes aim to build on Ireland’s marine and maritime heritage by increasing awareness of the value, opportunities and social benefits of our ocean wealth and identity, further supporting the Marine Institute’s Explorers Education Programme,” Dr Heffernan said.
Other announcements by Ireland include the provision of €10m to the local authority sector in Ireland to aid in the establishment of four Climate Action Regional Offices (CAROs) and €1m over a five-year period (2019-2024) towards a new programme of ocean and climate research.
The Marine Institute also welcomes commitments announced by the European Commission which include €300 million for EU-funded initiatives for projects to tackle plastic pollution, make the ‘blue economy’ more sustainable and improve research and marine surveillance.
#MarineScience - The new mission to Ireland’s offshore reaches to monitor seismic activity on the North Atlantic floor is to engage with schools while at sea.
As previously covered on Afloat.ie, scientists from the Dublin Institute for Advances Studies (DIAS) departed last Monday 17 September, on board the RV Celtic Explorer, for the three-week voyage that will see them deploy a network of 18 seismometers as part of the SEA-SEIS project.
“I am looking forward to sharing first-hand what it’s like being on a research vessel such as the RV Celtic Explorer,” says Farrell, of CoastMonkey.ie and sponsored by DIAS and the Marine Institute.
“I have a passion for the sea, and will be filming the scientists, writing content for the blog as well as taking photos of all of the activities where everyone can keep up to date with what is happening.”
Students and teachers can engage with the mission through Farrell’s blog posts as well as with a range of resources and videos available on the SEA-SEIS website.
“The SEA-SEIS team have also organised a range of activities that both primary and secondary schools can take part in over the next couple of months,” Farrell adds.
“There are teaching resources and lesson plans from the Explorers Education Programme, as well as some great competitions involving a drawing competition and composing a rap song.”
#Angling - Novice anglers are invited to try their hand at fishing at the upcoming National Ploughing Championships.
Inland Fisheries Ireland will attend the three days that kick off in Screggan near Tullamore, Co Offaly from tomorrow, Tuesday 18 September, with a fun fishing simulator suitable for all the family.
The simulator will be present at IFI stand within the Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment’s tent at the championships.
Fisheries officers will be on hand to answer questions from members of the public around best farming practice on waterways, and how to take up angling as a novice, as well to provide information and guidance around Ireland’s fish species and the aquatic environment.
There will also be aquariums with a range of coarse and game fish species on display.
“The participation of the public in the fisheries resource is vital in ensuring it is protected and enhanced in a sustainable manner for both the recreational and economic benefits it offers to communities nationwide,” says Suzanne Campion, IFI’s head of business development.
“We are looking forward to sharing insights into the fisheries resource, and the indigenous fish species that live within it, with both the general public and the farming community.”
Also exhibiting at the National Ploughing Championships this year are Leave No Trace Ireland and the Marine Institute’s Explorers Education Programme, who aim to highlight the impact of plastics in our oceans at their stand in the the Department of Community and Rural Affairs tent.
“A truckload of plastic waste finds its way into the ocean every minute of every day, and it is estimated that by 2050 there could be more plastic by weight than fish in the ocean unless behaviours change,” explains Maura Lyons, chief executive of Leave No Trace Ireland.
“Although we are all contributing to this worldwide epidemic, recent campaigns such as Say #No to Plastic have generated an amazing amount of supporters at community levels – particularly with children and families wanting to create change.”
With the research being completed in Ireland and around the world, results of plastics making their way into the ocean are showing a significant impact on the marine environment and animals.
Unprecedented levels of microscopic plastic particles were recently detected in an oceanic survey carried out by phytoplankton, biotoxin and oceanographic scientists from the Marine Institute.
From the larger plastics to clothes fibres from our washing machines all making their way into the ocean, visitors to the Leave No Trace/Explorers Education stand will get an opportunity to learn how long it takes for single-use plastic to break down, as well as receiving tips on how to go plastic free.
Those attending will also get to see live native marine species that are typically found in rock pools around the Irish coast including dogfish, plaice and starfish in the Explorers display boat.
“It is great to see an increased interest from children, schools, communities and businesses in Ireland that have already committed to reducing single-use plastics by offering alternatives for customers,” Lyons says. “These small changes can result in big impacts, which will help encourage a change in behaviours.”
#MarineScience - Irish Sailing’s Cara na Mara programme teamed up with the Marine Institute’s Explorers Education Programme this month in encouraging primary schools to engage with the marine environment.
Clubs involved with the programme, that aimed to offer “a dynamic learning experience” while also enjoying sailing, included Galway City Sailing Club, where Joss Myers offered a blend of ocean literacy and beach cleanup followed by Topaz sailing in Galway Bay.
Rathmullan Sailing Club with Aengus Kennedy looked at the flora and fauna in their local beach habitats and used their fleet of Bahias to go on trips exploring the Donegal coastline.
And at Foynes Yacht Club, Elaine O’Mahony looked at integrating environmental awareness and marine literature and history while sailing club boats in the maritime village.
Irish Sailing hopes that many of the students who trialled the Explorers element will come back over the summer to start their Cara na Mara junior courses as part of their sailing pathway.
For further information on this initiative, contact Ciarán Murphy at 087 880 0744 or [email protected].