Marine Institute

PLANET EARTH IS PLANET AQUA!

February 3, 2006

UNIQUELY INTERACTIVE SCIENCE EXHIBITION OPENS IN CORK

The Lifetime Lab in Cork opens its doors today to Planet Aqua, a non-profit Irish initiative to inspire primary school children to action in protecting our planet's most valuable resource – water. The initiative, co-ordinated by AQUA TT - the Aquaculture Training and Technology organisation - consists of two pilot exhibitions, a teacher's manual and a website at www.planetaqua.ie. It is designed to stimulate young visitors to investigate the role of water on the planet through a virtual scientific "mission under sea", showing how we interact with water, how it benefits us and how life would be impossible without it.

The Cork exhibition will run through to the 10th of February before moving to Dublin at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham from 20th February to 1st March.  Admission by pre-booked school groups is free and both events are open to the general public on weekends 10am – 4pm (4th – 5th Feb. in Cork & 25th – 26th Feb. in Dublin).

The many chilling global and regional aftermaths of the tsunami of 2004, Hurricane Katrina and the resulting floods in New Orleans in 2005, have raised a host of questions about human impact on climate change and the aquatic environment.

"With more than 7,500 kilometres of coastline, a seafood industry employing more than 15,000 people, the undertaking of a National Seabed Survey and the advent of the Water Framework Directive, to name just a few, the children of Ireland have good reason to learn more about water " said Mark Norman, Planet Aqua Steering Committee Chairman and Director of AquaTT.

Planet Aqua provides 5th and 6th class teachers with user-friendly support material that will enable them to explore and incorporate aquatic examples into the classroom. The resources and concepts are firmly grounded in the primary Social, Environmental and Scientific Education (SESE): Science curriculum.

Planet Aqua is organised by the AQUATT organisation and supported by the European Union, Discover Science and Engineering, the Marine Institute, the National Centre for Technology and Education, BIM, the Primary Curriculum Support Programme, the National Centre for Curriculum Assessment, the EPA, the Central Fisheries Board, An Taisce, Taidghe Mara Teo and the Lifetime Lab.

ENDS