25 February 2021: The Marine Institute's Explorers Education Programme recently engaged with up to seventy primary school children, as well as their teachers and parents, who took part in the Explorers programme that focused on learning about Whales and Dolphins, throughout February.
Carried out by the Sea Synergy outreach team, based in Waterville, Co Kerry, the team ran a series of Explorers online classes and projects for the children, learning all about whales and dolphins. "The children completed experiments learning about whale blubber, completed amazing projects - creating whale models, art work, infographic posters and dioramas of whales living under the sea, as well as puppet shows and short films. We are delighted with the response we got from parents and the children throughout the blended learning classes done at home. Their questions and the projects really showed their passion for the ocean and whales, which was great to see," explained Rebecca Murphy, Outreach officer, Sea Synergy.
Adding to the success of the project, the Explorers team and Sea Synergy were also delighted to have Sibéal Regan from the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG), join them online as a guest speaker in one of the classes. "Sibéal introduced the children to biofacts showing the baleen from whales and answered some amazing questions the children had. This was an incredible opportunity for children to see and imagine the size of some of the largest mammals in the world as well as meet a marine scientist who inspires us all with the work the IWDG do tracking and monitoring whales and dolphins in Ireland and around the world. The IWDG also provided some of their newly published Ireland's Blubber Book as prizes, which I am sure the children will enjoy" Rebecca said.
All of the projects were entered into the Explorers Whale Day competition that was celebrated on Sunday (21st February) as part of World Whale Day.
The Explorers Education Programme team are delighted to announce the winners of the Explorers Whale Day Competition, from six counties including Donegal, Sligo, Galway, Wicklow, Kerry, and Dublin. "All of the entries for the Whale Day Competition were amazing, and we want to congratulate everyone that took part and the incredible effort everyone made," said Lucy Hunt, Managing Director of Sea Synergy.
The winners are (in no particular order):
- Lydia Urquhart, aged 8 from Sligo; art work and poem about a pink dolphin.
- Aimee Ryan, aged 9, Co Galway; virtual project book, sperm whale model, and a story about a sperm whale.
- Callam Harrison, aged 9, Co Sligo; blubber experiment and poster.
- Ruby Joyce, aged 10, Co Wicklow; poem.
- Faolan Moran, aged 10, Co Kerry; 3D project / diorama
- Cara Harrington, aged 11, Dublin; picture of Orca whales
- Sophia, Senan and Eleanor Gorney, aged 10, 8, 5, Co Donegal; video presentation about dolphins and a puppet/ 3D diorama project, and a very funny ocean joke!
Cushla Dromgool-Regan, Strategic Manager of the Explorers Education Programme, the Camden Education Trust congratulated the team on their work throughout February connecting with teachers, children and their parents. "This has been a great opportunity to continue to engage with children all over Ireland from Donegal to Kerry and from Dublin to Galway. We want to thank the parents and children for taking part and providing such positive feedback about the excitement the programme brought to their homes. It has been an amazing way to help the ocean reach lots of children at their kitchen tables throughout Ireland. Well done to everyone involved."
The Explorers Education Programme is now looking forward to again working with teachers through blended learning activities at school, along with lots of amazing projects that we have available for children. The teams are working from Dublin, Wicklow, Waterford, Cork, Kerry, Clare, Galway, Mayo, Sligo and Donegal. With blended learning opportunities, the teams are delighted to meet schools further afield. More information about the Explorers Education Programme is available at www.explorers.ie.
The Explorers Education Programme provides free educational resources that can be downloaded from its website at www.explorers.ie. These include short films, activity books and fun worksheets. For further information about the Explorers Education Programme see Explorers contacts page.
The Explorers Education Programme is funded by the Marine Institute, Ireland's state agency for marine research, technology development and innovation.
Explorers Education Programme:
Education Programme Manager & Communications Lead
(Marine Institute's Explorers Education Programme)
The Camden Education Trust
C/o Galway Education Centre
Cluain Mhuire, Wellpark, Galway
Mobile: + 353 (0) 87 9185519
Email: cushla [dot] dromgoolregan [at] thecamdentrust [dot] org