The Mayor of Galway, Niall O’Brolchain officially launched the children’s “Explorer Laboratory” and “Nautilus classroom” at the Atlantaquaria in Salthill, Galway, yesterday Wednesday 29th November, where a number of guests, including Commander Bill King, the last surviving Royal Navy World War II submarine commander, enjoyed seeing how science and the sea can be celebrated within the classroom environment.
The ‘Explorers Laboratory’ and ‘Nautilus classroom’ is based at Galway Atlantaquaria and sponsored by the Marine Institute to facilitate interactive learning for both teachers and students, giving them the basic knowledge of how tides ebb and flow, and the diversity of Ireland’s marine and fresh water life. The project also celebrates two of Ireland’s greatest resources – her 220 million acres of marine territory, which is ten times the size of Ireland’s land mass - and the energy and enthusiasm of her young people.
Mr. Liam Twomey, Director of Galway Atlantaquaria, said he could appreciate more fully the positive effects of dispensing knowledge in a friendly, non- threatening and interactive manner. “This is incorporated in the establishment of the ‘Explorers Laboratory’ and ‘Nautilus classroom’, and is shared by our colleagues at the Marine Institute.” he said. “Both organisations have been in a collaborative mode for the past couple of years and the tangible marriage of ideas has resulted in what you see at the ‘Explorer Laboratory’ and ‘Nautilus classroom’.
Dr Paul Connolly, speaking on behalf of the Marine Institute, explained how the facilities at the Atlantiquaria had been supported as part of the larger “Galway Explorers” pilot primary school education programme, conceived by the Institute as a collaborative effort between people and organisations dedicated to broadening the horizons of young people and in particular, bringing the excitement of the sea to the classrooms of schools in the Galway area through school visits, teacher training and specially designed educational material.”
For information about booking classes at the ‘Explorer Laboratory’ and ‘Nautilus classroom’ contact Galway Atlantaquaria at: www.nationalaquarium.ie