12 April 2021: The Marine Institute Explorers Education Programme are pleased to be included in the publication of the European Blue School handbook for teachers, that was recently released as part of the launch of the European Blue School project, Find the Blue challenge led by the EU4Ocean Coalition, and supported by the European Commission – DG Mare.
"The Explorers Education Programme is among a number of leading outreach programmes in Europe that is recognised for greatly contributing to the promotion of environmental education and ocean literacy. The Explorers project Our Ocean - Marine Legends, Fairy Tales and Folklore in Ireland, that was selected for the European Blue Schools handbook for teachers, features children's poems and artwork that were inspired by Irish marine legends and folklore around the coast of Ireland. It is a wonderful project that demonstrates the human connection with the ocean; and is an excellent example of how teachers can Find the Blue and use this project for inspiration under the maritime culture theme for the Blue School project," explained Ms Evy Copejans, Coordinator of the European Blue Schools Programme.
"The European Blue School Find the Blue challenge aims to bring together outreach networks, teachers and children interested in exploring their connections to the ocean, whether they live close by or far away from the sea. We are therefore keen to include countries from all over Europe and welcome Irish schools to apply for a European Blue School project award, so as to have their school earn the European Blue School certification," Ms Copejans further said.
"We are delighted to have one of the Explorers projects selected for the European Blue School teachers handbook, showcasing one of the amazing Irish projects that have been completed by children, teachers and the Explorers outreach team. The Our Ocean project highlights how teachers can use cross curricular themes from history, English, and the arts to learn about our connection with the ocean. Engaging in stories from the Salmon of Knowledge to the adventures of Fionn Mac Cumhaill; as well as new tales from different counties, the children were able to gain an appreciation of the influence the ocean has had on their local areas through history and story-telling," explained Ms Cushla Dromgool-Regan, Strategic Education Manager, the Camden Education Trust.
"With a wide range of STEM and STEAM projects resources on the www.explorers.ie website, we would be delighted to see teachers use the Explorers projects for inspiration and also use this as an opportunity to take part in the European Blue School programme," Ms Dromgool-Regan added.
The European Blue School project covers five strands that schools can select to take part in, including: Food from the ocean, Climate and ocean, Healthy and clean ocean, Biodiversity, and Maritime culture. Students are encouraged to also learn outside the classroom about real-life topics related to the ocean, to experience the world actively and develop a wide range of social skills, solution-oriented and creative thinking, that supports the classic school skills.
"The European Blue Schools programme would also like to thank the Explorers Strategic Manager Cushla Dromgool-Regan from Camden Education Trust and the Explorers Support Services Manager Dr Noírin Burke from Galway Atlantaquaria for their contributions towards the concept and development of the European Blue School Programme. Cushla has provided her expertise participating in workshops since the concept originated from the European project 'Sea Change' in 2017 and both took part in the workshop held last year by the EU4Ocean coalition. They have also provided teachers training sessions for teachers taking part in the European Blue School programme, showcasing the Explorers Education Programme in Ireland," Ms Evy Copejans added.
For further information about the Explorers Education Programme see the Explorers contacts page. Teachers, educators and those interested in marine education may also like and follow us on Facebook: @ExplorersMarineEducation and Twitter @explorersedu for great ideas and fun facts about the ocean.
The Explorers Education Programme is funded by the Marine Institute, Ireland's state agency for marine research, technology development and innovation.
Explorers Education Programme:
Education Programme Manager & Communications Lead
(Marine Institute's Explorers Education Programme)
The Camden Education Trust