1 February 2022: The Marine Institute's Explorers Education programme are delighted to launch the Explorers We Are Ocean Champions School Project module and Awards this week, recognising the UN's international education day - Changing Course, Transforming Education.
The Explorers new school project module adopts an all-school approach where the Explorers outreach teams around Ireland will work with teachers and children, developing their own healthy ocean project to inspire and engage their school and community to become ocean champions.
"The Explorers Ocean Champions project and awards highlights the Marine Institute's aim to help encourage marine education and engagement at a community level," said Ms Patricia Orme, Director, Marine Institute. "Schools working in collaboration with the Explorers outreach teams and their local communities, will gain a better understanding of our ocean and is a fantastic opportunity to inspire our younger generation, creating ocean champions and leaders of the future."
The project and awards focus on the concept of healthy oceans and marine environmental care, with the aim that children will identify issues or challenges that affect the ocean and then develop a project to explore solutions. Throughout the project the children will work together with the Explorers outreach teams, their school, friends, family, and local community, helping to raise awareness and engagement about the ocean. This may include organising community beach cleans, development of science projects and artwork, to organising school drama, songs or public speaking competitions about the ocean.
Primary schools may apply to work on a school project with their regional Explorers Outreach centres.
"Adopting an all-school approach to complete this project is an excellent opportunity for children to develop their own skills and their relationships with their community and the environment. A significant part of the project is taking what they have learned and using it to creative positive actions to improve the ocean's health," explained Cushla Dromgool-Regan, Strategic Education and Communications Manager, Explorers Education Programme, Camden Education Trust.
"We hope that the scope of this project will appeal to primary schools, where the cross-curricular nature of the activities and support from the outreach teams will allow the children, their teachers, and their community to engage with the ocean in a creative manner and focus on an issue that interests them," Ms Dromgool-Regan added.
There are three categories, where the school project must adopt a Healthy Ocean theme include: Marine Cross Curricular and STEAM school project; Ocean Literacy and Sustainable Development Goals creative school project; and Marine Outdoor school project. More information about the school project and awards can be found on the Explorers website.
Each school and outreach centre will submit their projects, showing the impact and engagement of the children's work. Project submissions will be judged by a team of marine and education experts, where the winners will receive a Marine Institute Ocean Champion award for their school. Winners of the awards will be announced around World Ocean Day on the 8th June.
For more information about the Explorers Education Programme see www.explorers.ie. The Explorers Education Programme is funded by the Marine Institute, Ireland's state agency for marine research and development.
Strategic Education and Communications Manager
(Marine Institute's Explorers Education Programme)
The Camden Education Trust
Mobile: + 353 (0) 87 9185519
Photo: Andrew Downes, XPOSURE