Explorers Team: Creating ocean champions in County Clare

Explorers Outreach officer Carmel Madigan shows off the project workbook 'An Ocean of Stories – My Explorers Personal Story' where she will be working with classes remotely in County Clare.23 October 2020 - The Marine Institute's Explorers Education Programme's outreach team are now delivering a range of marine projects and seashore safaris in primary schools through blended learning, online activities and outdoor class visits, creating ocean champions around Ireland.

As part of the Explorers creating ocean champions initiative the team have been busy adapting their favourite marine projects and developing new content, for teachers and primary school children to use in the classroom. Each month we will be launching a new project and a series of new resources that the teachers and children can use.

"We have really worked outside the box this term and the Explorer teams have done an amazing job coming up with projects that classes and schools can still take part in. This includes online engagement, personalised film messages, and traditional letter writing to name a few. A huge volume of support materials have also been created for the teachers to use in class with the children including interactive short films, workbooks, fun facts and posters." said Cushla Dromgool-Regan, Explorers Strategic Education Manager, The Camden Education Trust.

This month we have launched our new Explorers project called "An Ocean of Stories – My Explorers Personal Story", which has been created by Explorers outreach officer Carmel Madigan who is based in County Clare. Carmel is a professional artist, author and habitat researcher and has a particular specialism in Ireland's coastline and seashore. She has been delivering the Marine Institute's Explorers Education Programme modules to schools for more than three years and has always produced inspiring work with the children, where they have increased their knowledge and understanding of how the ocean has an influence on us – and we have an influence on the ocean.

"This year, with the support of the Explorers team, I have created a writing project that focuses on well-being, creativity and reflecting on our connection with the ocean. I have produced a 'a step by step guidebook for children together with accompanied project notes for teachers, where they are taken through a series of fun creative writing exercises working towards producing a short personal story about the ocean," explained Carmel Madigan.

Taking into consideration that schools may be challenged with broadband or do not have access to online engagement, Carmel has also produced some fun short personal videos visiting her local seashore to help inspire the children with their work. These will be sent to teachers to share with the children taking part in this project as part of the Explorers Education Programme.

"I am really looking forward to working with the children around County Clare and the wider counties on this project. This is a great time to reflect and use our imagination and share our stories. These might include the day the sand got into my sandwiches to the drama of picking up a large seashore crab. We will be celebrating the children's work by sharing the stories on the Explorers social media pages. We will also be publishing a selection of our favourite submissions in an Anthology of Short Ocean Stories next year on World Ocean's Day," Carmel further said.

Dr Paul Connolly, CEO of the Marine Institute, congratulated the Explorers team efforts on their continued work with the Explorers Education Programme during the year. "Although this school year is full of many changes for teachers, children and parents, working with many of our education partners such as Camden Education Trust and the outreach teams across the country we are excited to be sharing some exciting projects and new ideas to engage in learning about our ocean," said Dr Connolly.

If you are interested in your class taking part in an Explorers Education project please contact your nearest Explorers outreach officer or contact our Explorers Support services team at Galway Atlantaquaria for further information. The Explorers contacts are available on www.explorers.ie.

The Explorers weekly updates are also posted via its social media channels: https://www.facebook.com/ExplorersMarineEducation and https://twitter.com/explorersedu

The Explorers Education Programme is funded by the Marine Institute, Ireland's state agency for marine research and development.


Cushla Dromgool-Regan
Education Strategic Programme & Communications Manager
The Camden Education Trust
Project: Marine Institute's Explorers Education Programme

Mobile: + 353 (0) 87 9185519
Email: cushla.dromgoolregan@thecamdentrust.org
Website: www.explorers.ie