23rd May 2022: Kilglass National School (NS), Ahascragh, Co Galway, has received the European Blue Schools Award. The award is led by the EU4Ocean Coalition and supported by the European Commission.
Evy Copejans, coordinator of the European Blue Schools Programme, congratulated the students of Kilglass NS for their achievement. "This is a very special occasion for Kilglass NS, as they are one of the first primary schools in Ireland to become a European Blue School".
"The award, in recognition of the schools Seoltóir Na Gaillimhe – the Galway Sailor unmanned mini-boat project helped bring real-life marine content to their classroom, which is one of the leading principles of the European Blue Schools Programme."
Presenting the award at the Marine Institute headquarters in Galway to Peter Kane who led the project at Kilglass National School, Dr Paul Connolly, CEO, congratulated the school on their achievement. "To become a European Blue School, students are encouraged to become responsible and engaged ocean-literate citizens. The Seoltóir Na Gaillimhe – the Galway Sailor unmanned mini-boat project demonstrated that the children from Kilglass recognised the importance of the ocean in our lives."
Peter Kane said he was very proud to receive the European Blue Schools plaque. "Working on this project with the Marine Institute's Explorers Education Programme, provided us with an excellent opportunity to involve all of the school in a marine themed project. Everyone took ownership of the project - from painting and naming the boat - to the hand over at the RV Celtic Explorer for its launch at sea, and also tracking it while at sea".
The cross-curricular content provided by the Explorers programme, enabled the children to get hands-on practical skills, including critical thinking and reasoning, problem solving, working in collaboration with other children, as well as developing their creative and communication skills. This project also helped the children to learn more about their role as global citizens and becoming ocean leaders."
Strategic Education and Communications Manager
(Marine Institute's Explorers Education Programme)
Mobile: + 353 (0) 87 9185519
The Seoltóir Na Gaillimhe – the Galway Sailor unmanned mini-boat project was coordinated by the Marine Institute's Explorers Education programme. It was also supported by the Marine Institute's oceanographic team who sponsored the boat as part of the iFADO consortium of researchers around Europe. Educational Passages in the USA, worked with the Marine Institute Explorers team, as well as Peter Kane and the children from Kilglass National School to track the mini boat at sea, which eventually was found in Norway.
The Network of European Blue Schools is part of the EU4Ocean Coalition of Ocean Literacy, an initiative funded by the European Commission, DG MARE, which connects diverse organisations, projects and people contributing to ocean literacy and the sustainable management of the ocean. For more information see Network of European Blue Schools
The Explorers Education Programme is funded by the Marine Institute, Ireland's state agency for marine research and development. For more information about the Explorers Education Programme see www.explorers.ie.