Local Primary school teachers in Galway have just finished a week-long training course (1st – 5th July) on how to incorporate marine studies into their schools through fun activities and projects.
Sea for Society (EU FP7 project) research last year across a number of EU countries, found that 'ignorance' and 'lack of understanding' are key barriers to the development of a sustainable marine ecosystem. The Marine Institute and Galway Atlantaquaria tackled this barrier by introducing teachers to their local seashore, using it as a unique teaching resource.
“Through the Explorers Education programme and teachers training course we provide an opportunity for teachers to learn about their local seashore as well develop an understanding about the importance of Ireland’s marine resource and ocean wealth,” explained Cushla Dromgool-Regan from the Marine Institute.
Offering a wide range of cross curricular activities involving science, mathematics, English, geography, history and art, we hope the teachers will feel more confident and enabled to innovate and inspire students in learning about the marine.
”The Explorers annual teacher’s training course has been run through the Galway Education centre for nearly eight years and continues to be popular with teachers, booking up early each year.
Bróna Smyth of Scoil Mhuire, Maree said, “the course was invaluable in offering practical concepts that can be used on the seashore and in class by interlinking the subjects. The hands on approach, learning about species and seaweeds, making seashore keys, collecting marine litter data for graphs, completing water experiments to creating seashore poetry and stories are all key to embedding the understanding of how important the ocean is and how it impacts our daily lives.”
Primary school teaching materials relating to the seashore and marine are available through the Explorers Education Programme (www.explorers.ie).