Patricia Orme, Corporate Services Director with the Marine Institute said that “the children’s engagement and interest in the ocean is heartfelt and their work shows how looking after our ocean is truly meaningful for them”.
“The children were eager to involve their local communities with understanding how the ocean affects us all and how our daily activities impact the ocean. The children’s projects have all been inspirational providing us with a wealth of ideas as to how we can better engage our friends, families and communities in learning about the ocean,” Ms Orme added.
“The Explorers healthy ocean school projects also provide teachers with an opportunity to introduce thematic learning and supports the new Curriculum Framework covering a wide range of cross curricular activities,” explained Cushla Dromgool-Regan, of the Explorers Programme.
“The projects have included monthly beach cleans, school sea science fairs for parents and other classes in their schools, science experiments, building unique toys and games from recycled materials, sharing stories about their local marine biodiversity and heritage, as well running campaigns to engage others in recycling rubbish, so it doesn’t end up in the ocean”.
The national winner and finalists will receive special awards under the different categories where the schools have shown excellence and exceptional engagement with their subject material relating to Marine STEAM, Ocean Literacy and the Arts, SDGs & the Ocean, and Marine Outdoor education.
The schools that have qualified as an Explorers Ocean Champion will receive specially designed certificates of achievement, recognising the work and commitment of the teachers and children that have taken part in the projects. The schools that have engaged in the Healthy Ocean Project will also receive a certificate of participation.
“We look forward to announcing the winners and to organising the presentation of plaques and certificates by the Explorers teams in the autumn to celebrate our healthy ocean,” Ms Orme said.
The Explorers Education Programme is funded by the Marine Institute, and managed by Camden Education and Galway Atlantaquaria. The Outreach is delivered by SeashoreKids, Oceanics Surf School, Lifetime Lab @ Old Cork Waterworks Experience, Galway Atlantaquaria, Sea Synergy and Leave no Trace-Ireland.