The Marine Institute's Explorers Education Programme is pleased to launch the Explorers Wild about Wildlife on the Seashore Photo and Art Competition, to celebrate European Maritime Day - in My Country, which takes place on the 20-21st May.
The Explorers outreach teams are encouraging primary school teachers, children and parents to discover their seashore "In My Country" through photography and art. The competition is open to primary school children throughout Ireland and will run from 20th May until 21st June 2021.
The competition aims to encourage children to 'get up close' and take time to discover the living things on our shore. "As an island nation, we are surrounded by the sea and our shorelines are varied ranging from golden sandy beaches, mudflats, to shingle and rocky shores. This provides an abundance of different types of plants, seaweeds and animals that live in the different habitats," said Cushla Dromgool-Regan, Explorers Strategic Education and Communications Manager, Camden Education Trust.
"By taking photos during excursions to the sea shore, we hope to see a collection of photos showing the amazing seashore habitats and animals around Ireland. This might include taking photos of colourful seashells in the sand, the limpet 'mountains' on the rocks, a seagull's view of sandcasts in the sand left by lugworms, to getting that action photo of a crab attacking a sandcastle," explained Ms Dromgool-Regan.
For teachers, this is a great way to also introduce the seashore into the science, geography and art lesson plans where children are encouraged to take part in outdoor explorations, as well as explore introducing new materials into their artwork using their imagination, observation and curiosity. Using clever captions, the children are encouraged to describe their photos explaining why wild about wildlife on the seashore is important – in my country.
"As part of the competition we have also created a category for artwork inspired by seashore wildlife. If children are unable to get to the seashore, we have a series of art resources on the Explorers website competition page that can be used for colouring in or creating seashore collages. Children can then also demonstrate their love of our wildlife on the seashore," added Ms Dromgool-Regan.
Ms Patricia Orme, Joint Acting CEO of the Marine Institute, welcomed the Explorers competition, highlighting how scientific drawing and photography has become an important part of today's scientific world. "Scientists and some of Ireland's incredible photographers have captured amazing photos and footage of the marine animals and ocean habitats during research surveys around Ireland, including microscopic plankton, Nephrops, cold-water corals, as well as fish species, and the migration and activities of whales in Irish waters".
"Taking photographs on the seashore is a great way to start learning about marine animals and helps provide us all with a better understanding of how the ocean has an influence on us and importantly how we have an impact on the ocean," Ms Patricia Orme further said.
To encourage our engagement with the ocean, the Explorers outreach teams around the country, are offering some amazing prizes for children, which will enable them to get involved in more fun ocean activities throughout the summer. The prizes include surf lessons in Waterford with the Oceanics Surf School; Outdoor excursions in Donegal, Sligo, Mayo with Leave No Trace; Seashore explorations with Sea Synergy in Kerry; Shark activity packs from Marine Dimensions; Family passes to Galway Atlantaquaria and Waterworks-Lifetime Lab in Cork; as well as some of our favourite seashore and ocean books and posters from the Explorers Education Programme for the class.
The Explorers team would love to see photographs or artwork showing a 'close up view' of your favourite plant, seaweed, or animal from a seashore in your county. A shortlist of photographs and artwork will be selected throughout June, showcasing European Maritime Day in My Country – my favourite Wild about Wildlife on the Seashore on the Explorers Education social media pages. The final winners will be announced after the competition closing date: Monday 21st June. The prizes are for individual entries and will be categorised by age: (5-7) (8-10) (11-12).
The Explorers Education Programme is funded by the Marine Institute, Ireland's state agency for marine research and development.
For further information, contact:
Strategic Education and Communications Manager, Camden Education Trust.
Mobile: + 353 (0) 87 9185519