Explorers Marine Education Programme seeks Expressions of Interest for Outreach Training Pilot

The Explorers Education Programme outreach centres recent training held at the Marine Institute, Galway. Photograph Cushla Dromgool-Regan, Camden Education Trust.The Marine Institute’s Explorers Education Programme, managed by Camden Education Trust is currently seeking Expressions of Interest from established outreach centres in the Republic of Ireland to take part in a pilot for an outreach training programme to deliver marine education modules in primary schools.

Dr Peter Heffernan, CEO of the Marine Institute welcomes the initiative to pilot an Explorers outreach training programme, to help develop a wider network of marine outreach experts that can work in collaboration with formal educators in primary schools. “Inspiring children and young people who are our generation of ocean champions is essential at a time when the youth from many countries and world leaders discuss the issues of climate change and the health of our oceans. Ireland is among those who have an important voice to share about the value of our ocean wealth, and it is encouraging to see the increasing engagement across the wider communities to help this happen.”

The Explorers Education Programme, funded by the Marine Institute, currently delivers a range of marine themed cross curricular modules to primary school classes, reaching over 12,000 children annually. “Working with a number of excellent outreach teams in Donegal, Sligo, Mayo, Galway, Clare, Kerry, Cork, Waterford, Wicklow and Dublin, the outreach teams provide teachers with incredible support in the classroom and on the seashore with teaching children about the benefits of our ocean wealth, research and industry, marine biodiversity, to learning how to care for our ocean,” explained Cushla Dromgool-Regan, Strategic Manager of the Explorers Education Programme, Camden Education Trust.

“Building on this, we are very excited that the pilot for developing training for outreach centres will be coordinated by Galway Atlantaquaria, who are responsible for the support services of the Explorers Education Programme. The Galway team have an extensive knowledge and experience in providing marine outreach, working closely with teachers, school children and training formal educators of how to introduce marine themes on the primary school curriculum,” Ms Dromgool-Regan said.

Dr Noirin Burke, Director of Education at Galway Atlantaquaria further explained “with the increased interest from teachers who are keen to use marine in STEM, thematic and cross curricular teaching, we are delighted to be providing this pilot for outreach centres. The training will offer a range of activities including practical workshops in the classroom and on the seashore, as well as providing support to the outreach centres in delivering modules to school children. With Camden Education Trust, we will also be training centres on promoting and supporting marine outreach in schools through media and events, as well as using evaluation methodologies in understanding children’s knowledge and engagement with the ocean,” said Dr Burke.

This pilot may be of interest to centres that have are keen to deliver marine themed projects in schools, or may wish to apply to become an official Explorers Education Programme centre in the future. Counties of interest may include outreach located in Louth, North / South Dublin, Wexford and Limerick. Outreach centres from other counties are also encouraged to apply.

The pilot will be delivered from November 2019 – March 2020. Spaces are limited and those interested must submit their Expression of Interest applications by 5pm, Thursday 24th October. The EOI Application is available from Galway Atlantaquaria website https://www.nationalaquarium.ie/newsandevents.html and here.

For more information about the Explorers Education Programme see www.explorers.ie