Bring the Ocean into your classroom and connect to Europe and Beyond

While Marine may not be on the Irish School Curriculum (yet!) , schools here are spoilt for choice when it comes to Education Programmes that focus on Marine and Ocean Literacy. In this special feature for ‘Back to School’ 2021 we meet some of the fantastic IOLN Members involved in marine education, as they chat about the programmes and how your school can get involved.

Join Dave Wall, from Explore your shore!, Sibeal Regan, from the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, Cushla Dromgool Regan from the Marine Institute’s Explorers Education Programme and Dr.Chloe Delvin from An Taisce Green Schools, as they share with us their passion for the ocean, and marine education.

Explore your shore!

Ireland has 3,171 km of coastline and yet we have relatively few records of intertidal and coastal marine species. We lack a strong tradition of the public recording intertidal species. Explore Your Shore is a Citizen Science project funded by the Environmental Protection Agency focused on increasing our knowledge of the distribution of our intertidal species, exploring their potential as bio-indicators of water quality and climate change, and highlighting actions we can all take to tackle water pollution and climate change. For more information see https://exploreyourshore.ie

The Explorers Education Programme

The Marine Institute’s Explorers Education Programme engages with primary schools, teachers, children and the education network, creating marine leaders and ocean champions in Ireland.

The Programme provides engaging activities, resources, and support for teachers, children, and the education network, delivering ocean literacy to primary schools. It inspires children and educators to become marine leaders and ocean champions by promoting our marine and maritime identity and heritage, as well as making informed and responsible decisions regarding the ocean and its resources. For more infomation see http://www.explorers.ie

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group

The IWDG was foudned in 1990 to establish an All-Ireland sighting and stranding scheme and to campaign for the declaration of Irish territorial waters as a whale and dolphin sanctuary.

It is through Education and Outreach that we can raise awareness of our marine environment and the Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises that inhabit them. If we can ignite a passion within the greater community for our oceans and their inhabitants, then there is great hope that they will prosper into the future. For more information see http://www.iwdg.ie

Green-Schools Global Citizenship Marine Environment

Green-Schools is Irelands leading environmental management and award programme for schools. The eight theme on the Green-Schools programme is Global Citizenship Marine Environment. This theme is all about recognising the importance of the marine environment, the threats it faces and how we can protect it. There are a number of essential actions that schools must complete to earn the Green flag for this theme. Schools must must carry out a Marine Litter Awareness Survey, investigate the sources of marine litter and carry out a #2minutebeachclean. The Global Citizenship Marine Environment theme is kindly supported by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.

Once you have completed your Marine Class work you can use it to connect to schools across the globe, with the All- Atlantic Blue School initative and European Blue Schools. So why not take your marine work that one step further and share it with another school or communiuty to recieve an extra special accrediation for your school.

European Blue Schools

Is your school ready to take on the Find the Blue challenge? Here are the steps you need to take to start your ride on the wave of change:

Your first step is to download the Handbook for Teachers here. The Handbook outlines the teaching principles behind the European Blue School initiative and the European Blue School certification process. It includes a step-by-step guide for developing your own blue project, ideas and tools that can help you get started, as well as a variety of inspiring projects from all over Europe.

European Schoolnet has published a complementary curriculum analysis here on ocean-related initiatives in schools in Belgium, France, Portugal, Croatia, Greece, Romania, Germany, Finland and the UK.

Become part of the large movement to Make Europe Blue and submit your pledge to become a European Blue School here

Fill out the online application form to get certified

Applications are now OPEN

All Atlantic Blue School Network

If you would like to for the All Atlantic Blue Schools Programme contact allatlanticblueschools@gmail.com. This program is open to schools are all levels, and projects can be based on any curriculum area, or cross-curricular, and can link to any of the national marine education programs currently in existence.

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