The Marine Institute and Galway Atlantaquaria recently (1st – 5th July) held a five day teachers training course at Grattan beach and at the aquarium, where over twenty five primary school teachers were introduced to Ireland’s marine resource, oceans and the seashore.
School teachers developed new skills and techniques that they can use in and out of the classroom. Ms Bernie Murphy of Scoil Chroí íosa in Galway said, “the time spent on the seashore and experiments in class provided us with a wonderful opportunity to re-engage with our local seashore and become more aware of how useful the beach is as a teaching resource.”
Ms Anne Gilmore further added, “we now feel able to identify and tell the wonderful stories about the many species and their habitats along the seashore including cockles, mussels and even the common barnacle - which has a very interesting social life. Learning about the oceans and Ireland’s marine resource provided us all with the inspiration to teach students about the marine in fun ways using subjects such as english, art, mathematics, geography, history and science”.
The Marine Institute and Galway Atlantaquaria welcomed the opportunity to run the summer course “Linking Science, Numeracy and Literacy by exploring the Seashore and River”, which was offered through the Galway Education Centre and approved by the Board of Education.
“Developing workshops for teachers and providing materials and resources for primary schools is an invaluable way to promote Ireland’s marine resource and to inspire students with their career choices in the future. As part of the national plan to ‘Harness our Ocean Wealth’, it is therefore vitally important that students and our local communities are aware of the significant ties we have with the ocean,” explained Cushla Dromgool-Regan from the Marine Institute.
“The course uses materials available from the Explorers Education website www.explorers.ie, where teachers are encouraged to take advantage of the vast resources made available by the unique marine environment and help promote marine knowledge throughout Ireland”.
The Explorers Education programme is sponsored by the Marine Institute and run by Galway Atlantaquaria. It is used by over 50 schools and reaches 5000 primary school students across Ireland, from Galway, Mayo, Clare, Dublin and Cork.