Ocean Champions School Project & Awards

Explorers Ocean Champions School Awards


The Explorers Ocean Champions School Project & Awards provides teachers and children with the tools to develop key competencies & skills, including STEM, environmental learning, creativity & communication, as well as adopting the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Ocean Literacy Principles. Check out our school champions awards information and highlights below. There’s something to inspire everyone!

Ocean Champions Highlights banner



Ocean Champions 2021-2022Over 3,500 primary school children and their teachers worked in collaboration with their Explorers outreach team and their local communities, completing 28 healthy ocean school projects in 2021-2022.

The children completed field trips to the seashore, visited museums and aquariums and invited guest speakers to their schools. The children’s projects highlighted the need to care for our ocean, where they used their communication skills to produce podcasts, presentations, information boards, songs, and marine games. They also created stories, poetry, artwork, as well as making decorations and lots more.

Each of the schools healthy ocean projects also showed the invaluable competency skills that the children developed. This included skills relating to communication and creativity at 100 per cent. Projects involving being an active citizen were recorded reaching 95 per cent and fostering wellbeing at 75 per cent to name a few.

Click the image below for a more detailed view!
Explorers Report 2022 Infographic

We wish to congratulate all of the schools, teachers, children and everyone involved in completing the Explorers school projects and being ocean champions!



Check out our filmettes showing the Explorers Ocean Champions 2021-2022 Awards highlights including the children’s work, accolades from teachers and the outreach team, as well as guests who attended the school awards.


The national winners and the winners of each category received outdoor plaques and framed certificates for their schools. All of the schools that completed the Explorers Healthy Ocean Project were awarded the Explorers Ocean Champion Certificates of Participation.

The Explorers Ocean Champions 2021-2022 is listed here.

Teachers Project & Awards Handbook


The Ocean Champions project focuses on ‘healthy oceans and marine environmental care’ and aims to inspire teachers to use thematic learning to help develop their children’s key competencies in the class, school and wider community. The Explorers Ocean Champions School Project & Awards Handbook 2022-2023 is a guide for teachers to start their healthy ocean project. Check out the handbook for information on the different project categories including:

Marine STEAM
Ocean Literacy Creative
Sustainable Development Goals & the Ocean & the Ocean
Marine Outdoor

The Explorers outreach team will work with the lead teacher and class to develop the school project idea. They will provide healthy ocean learning activities for the children. They will also encourage collaboration with other classes, teachers, parents and members of the community to help with the project. See our Explorers contacts to book your local Explorers outreach officer now.

Explorers Ocean Champion Award


Ocean Champion School AwardTo be in with the chance of winning an Explorers Ocean Champions School Award 2022-2023, submissions can be made up until the 1st May. The Explorers Outreach officer will provide the lead teacher with the Explorers Ocean Champion application form and assist with the submission for this award. Applications will be reviewed in June.

PRIZES: The national winning school and winners of the categories will receive prizes, including an Ocean Champions School Award of Excellence plaque for outside, a framed certificate, as well as a soft award for their school website. The children will also be presented with a box of our favourite ocean books, games and posters for their school library.

AWARD PRESENTATION: The national winner of the Ocean Champion Awards will be invited to showcase their work with the Explorers outreach team where guests including the Marine Institute Explorers management team and VIP’s will attend. This event at the school will include the presentation of the Ocean Champion award, marine biodiversity and or interactive marine workshops for the teachers and classes, the opportunity for children to be included in a photoshoot and or a short film highlighting the work the children have done. The film and photos will be provided to the school for use on their website and media platforms.

Each school that enters a successful application will receive an Explorers Ocean Champion Certificate of Participation.

Other Awards & Opportunities



The school may also submit their Explorers Healthy Ocean school project in the European Blue Schools Certification, which also provides teachers and children the opportunity to ‘ride the wave of change’ creating a healthy ocean. For more information see European Blue Schools.



The Marine Institute’s Explorers Education Programme will be launching a series of new resources in 2023, that will be focusing on key marine species raising awareness about ocean pollution and coming up with ocean solutions.

Keep an eye out for the launch of our new Explorers project resources where all primary schools in Ireland will be invited to use the power of their imagination to save the ocean. The resources will include marine animals at risk to dealing with plastic pollution and the impacts of climate change.

• Turtle Talk with Sea Turtles – Story telling to battle ocean pollution
• Sharks, Rays & Mermaids Purses in Ireland – Saving our Sharks
• Climate Change – Science and school solutions