23 September 2021: The Marine Institute are delighted to announce the expansion of the Explorers Education Programme, which is now delivering modules to primary schools in all of Ireland's coastal counties.
The Explorers Education Programme was established in Galway over 15 years ago and is funded by the Marine Institute. Over the years the programme has expanded around the coast of Ireland, and will now be reaching schools all around the coast, including in North Dublin, Wexford, Limerick and Leitrim offering a wide range of marine project modules in the classroom and fieldtrips to the seashore. With this expansion, the teams will also be able to offer online and blended learning modules to classes from inland counties.
Sheila Byrnes, Communications Manager of the Marine Institute welcomed the new outreach team and the expansion into new counties by the Explorers Education Programme this term. "As an island nation, it is important to promote the value of Ireland's marine resource, the importance of our ocean, as well as the work of the Marine Institute. By creating a community of ocean advocates at national, regional and local level, and building long-lasting networks and partnerships, we look forward to working with the Explorers Education team engaging with educators and children throughout Ireland."
The Explorers outreach teams are based in coastal counties from Donegal to Kerry, and from Cork to Louth. Each county boasts a rich marine heritage, supporting Ireland's marine research activities, industries, recreational activities, to even having the shortest coastline in Ireland. "With an increasing awareness of ocean literacy and the value of ocean sciences in Ireland, we can't wait to share all of what the Explorers team have to offer with primary schools in these new counties," said Cushla Dromgool-Regan, Strategic education and communications manager, the Camden Education Trust.
"We have been very lucky to have been working with a group of marine education experts and outreach officers for a number of years, and we are now extremely pleased to be working with additional new members joining the team. They have all showed how extremely passionate they are about sharing their ocean knowledge with children, as well as supporting teachers with the delivery of marine themed content, that can be used on the primary school's curriculum," Ms Dromgool-Regan said.
The Explorers team members will be working with primary school teachers introducing a range of exciting Explorer marine projects and resources to the children over the coming months, covering topics such as marine biodiversity and living things, environmental awareness and care to a range of STEM topics leading up to maths week in October and Science week in November.
"The teams can reach classes delivering face-to-face project modules held in the class, seashore safaris, as well as through online and blended learning. Our new Explorers Back to School Brochure also provides information about our modules and links to the centres for bookings," explained Cushla Dromgool-Regan
The outreach teams that deliver the Explorers programme to primary school children include: Leave No Trace - Ireland, Galway Atlantaquaria, Sea Synergy Marine Awareness Centre, Old Cork Waterworks Experience, Oceanics Surf School, and Marine Dimensions.
Enquiries about bookings can be made directly to the Explorer Outreach centres. Schools and classes located within inland counties should be sent to the support services team at the Explorers Support Services team at Galway Atlantaquaria to check on an outreach centre's availability.
To ensure that teachers have accessibility to education resources, the Explorers Education Programme also has a wide range of teaching materials that are freely available on the explorers.ie website. These include Wild about Wildlife on the Seashore resources including films and activities for within the class, fabulous STEM and STEAM project ideas. Also check out our Explorers Publications and Explorers Lesson Plan pages for new content being published.
The Explorers Education Programme is funded by the Marine Institute, Ireland's state agency for marine research and development.
For more information, please contact:
Strategic Education and Communications Manager
(Marine Institute's Explorers Education Programme)
The Camden Education Trust
Mobile: + 353 (0) 87 9185519
Email: cushla [dot] dromgoolregan [at] thecamdentrust [dot] org