The Explorers Marine Education programme aimed at primary schools has been re-launched in Galway with the expansion of over forty five schools now taking part in the programme. Gearing up to celebrate Maths week (during 14th - 18th October), Explorer workshops are being held at Galway Atlantaquaria where primary school students will develop maths skills as well as learn about the ocean and Ireland’s seashores.
Supporting the 2013/2014 programme, Mr Bernard Kirk, Director of the Galway Education Centre said, “with over one thousand primary school students now ready to take part in the Explorers programme, the schools selected are sure to develop an inspiration and enthusiasm for the marine. Skills will also be developed through a range of cross curricular subjects including maths, science, geography, literacy and the arts. The level of interest from teachers, is a testament to the programme and we hope it will continue to grow.”
The Marine Institute and Galway Atlantaquaria originally set up the Explorers Education Programme over eight years ago with the aim to ensure that primary school students developed an interest in Ireland’s marine resources and its future development early in their education.
Dr. Noirin Burke, the Explorers Education Officer, who will be visiting the schools said, “Having a better understanding of our marine environment often begins in the classroom. So, by generating a passion in this area, we can bring social, cultural and economic benefits to our communities. I’m really looking forward to working with the schools over the next year where the students will learn about our oceans, marine species and Ireland’s marine resource.”
The Explorers programme will involve the unique use of salt water aquariums in the classroom; seashore safaris on local beaches; marine based projects about species, habitats and environmental care; as well as a range of workshops offered during Maths, Science and Engineering Weeks. Students and teachers will then be presented with an Explorer Certificate of Participation.
The Explorers programme continues to run in Clare, Mayo, Dublin and Cork, in association with partners Galway Atlantaquaria, Blackrock Education Centre, Sea Life Centre Bray and the Lifetime Lab, Cork. Explorer teaching materials, including a wide maths lesson plans and worksheets are available to download free of charge at www.explorers.ie