The Explorers Education Programme annual training course recently engaged 45 primary school teachers on how to introduce marine activities in the classroom, and conduct field trips to the seashore.
The five-day workshop held in Galway, provides teachers with practical hands-on activities expanding their awareness and interest in the ocean, highlighting how marine topics can be used in the classroom or on the seashore in subjects such as geography, science, English and art.
Dr Noirin Burke, Explorers Education Programme for Galway, said the teachers were enthusiastic about learning how they can easily integrate marine themes into their school and class planning. "The course is extremely rewarding as the outdoor learning element of the course enables teachers to see how easy it is to run safe fieldtrips to their local seashore and the multitude of benefits this can bring to the children.
"Spending real time, learning about the marine animals and seaweeds that are at our doorstep, conducting fun learning games on the shore all help create lifetime memories for students. The workshops also help raise the awareness about how the ocean has a daily influence on our lives, as well as how we impact the ocean," said Dr Noirin Burke.
The Explorers Education Programme has outreach centres covering ten coastal counties, and the team deliver marine themed modules to primary school classes. In the last six months, the Explorers outreach team have reached over 6,000 primary students and teachers.
The annual Explorers teachers training course, is approved by the Department of Education and Skills, and provides teachers with training to improve their skills. The course is run in association with Galway Education Centre, Tralee Education Centre, Blackrock Education Centre, and the Marine Institute.
Teachers interested in taking part in the Explorers Education Programme can contact the outreach centres at www.explorers.ie A series of free downloadable subject lesson plans, resources, and teachers guides are also available.
The Explorers Education Programme is supported by the Marine Institute, and is funded under the Marine Research Programme by the Irish Government.