Twenty-five local national primary school teachers in Galway increased their knowledge of the ocean and its impact on our daily lives through a teacher training course run by the Marine Institute and Galway Atlantaquaria, this week (1st – 5th July).
The annual workshop, which is coordinated through the Galway Education centre, provided teachers with the opportunity to venture to the seashore to learn new activities designed to innovate and inspire students about the animal species and seaweeds typically found on the seashore.
The workshop aims to introduce teachers to the Explorers Education Programme teaching materials and resources. "Through lesson plans and activities we aim to help teachers integrate marine themes as closely as possible with subjects on the primary school curriculum including science, geography, history, as well as English, maths and art," explained Cushla Dromgool-Regan of the Marine Institute.
"The course is very hands-on and provides excellent examples of how we can overcome some of the challenges of teaching students about the marine. The seashore is a great resource for exploration and discovery of animals, increasing environmental awareness as well as carrying out some fun art and PE activities," said Síle Nic Spáidín, of Gaelscoil Riabhach Primary School, Galway.
The Explorers lesson plans are at our fingertips and provide a great way to bring the seashore to the classroom," Caroline Burke of Scoil Mhuire, Clarinbridge added.
The workshop was also supported by the EU FP7 project, Sea for Society action plan which aims to shape the concept of a "Blue Society" and is supported by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme. Short films produced by Sea for Society were also shown to highlight how the ocean impacts on our daily life. These are available on www.seaforsociety.eu.
The Explorers Programme was established by the Marine Institute and Galway Atlantaquaria and is supported by the Galway Education Centre, Sea Life Bray, Blackrock Education Centre and the Lifetime Lab, Cork.