New Schools Essay Competition from "Follow the Fleet"


The Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO) is delighted to announce a new competition for its 2009/2010 roll-out of the "Follow the Fleet" schools programme. The schools essay competition is sponsored by Transas, a world-leading Irish-based maritime navigation systems company. is the IMDO educational website that aims to bring the world of maritime adventure, imagination and education to the classroom. The programme, which is now in its third year, is being used by over 400 schools around Ireland and is used in classrooms as a teaching aid for the SESE primary school curriculum.

The competition will be centred around three key themes that are all interlinked with the lesson chapters and "Captain's Logs" published on the Follow the Fleet website. The three themes that classes can write about are:

  • Maritime History
  • MaritimeTrading in Ireland
  • Technology and the Mariner

The word limit for each themed essay is 500 words and pupils are encouraged to include pictures or photos if choosing this category to support their essay.

Commenting on the sponsorship of the Follow the Fleet 2009/2010 Competition, Mr Cormac Gebruers, Product Manager of Transas said, "Transas are proud to support the IMDO to continue the programme this year. Ireland is an island nation and we are a people of the sea and the Follow the Fleet programme is a unique and important outreach project based on that. This year's competition encourages children to explore the impact of a hugely important asset all around them - the sea."

Glenn Murphy, Director of the Irish Maritime Development Office said, "We are very pleased to have the support of Transas this year. We are encouraging all classes and schools who are registered on the Follow the Fleet programme to enter the essay competition. It is a great opportunity for the teachers and students to bring their experiences with the Follow the Fleet from the classroom to life through animation, while also having the chance to experience real life situations on the bridge of a ship's simulator."

Competition Prizes

We are offering four amazing prizes for the winning entries, which will be judged by a panel headed by RTE Marine Correspondent Mr Tom McSweeney. The winning class will have their essay scripted into a narrative, voiced by actor Aiden Dooley of "Tom Crean - Arctic Explorer" fame. This will be hosted on the IMDO Follow the Fleet YouTube Channel. The winning class will also be given the opportunity to experience commanding their own ship at sea from the safety of the world class ship simulators at the National Maritime College in Cork.

1st Prize

 The overall winning class and class teacher as judged by the Follow the Fleet essay panel will receive

  • A laptop for the winning classes’ teacher
  • 2 handheld plug in and play movie cameras for the winning class.
  • Animation and narration of the winning story
  • A class visit to the National Maritime College of Ireland in Cork where the class will be shown the facilities and find out what it is like to be on the bridge of a ship in the NMCI state of the art Ship Simulators.  

Runner-up Category Prizes

The three runner up schools from each themed category will receive a handheld plug in and play movie camera and their essay will be animated and narrated by actor Aidan Dooley of ‘Tom Crean – Artic Explorer’ fame and hosted on our Follow the Fleet You Tube Channel.  

Home Schools Prize.

There will also be a prize for registered home school users of the Follow the Fleet programme. The prize is a handheld plug in and play movie camera and their essay will be narrated by actor Aidan Dooley of ‘Tom Crean – Artic Explorer’ fame and hosted on ourFollow the Fleet You Tube Channel.  


The deadline for the competition is the 29th of January 2010.

All details of the competition and entry forms are available on-line on the news section of

Find out more on how you can integrate Follow the Fleet into your classroom SESE lessons by logging onto the FTF You Tube Channel:

For more details contact or call the Marketing & Business Programme Coordinator at the IMDO on 01 476 6558  

Follow The Fleet can be accessed by logging onto or contact the IMDO on 01 476 6500, for more information on joining the Follow the Fleet programme.