IOLN members share Ocean Stories for Science Week 2020

Science Week Ireland is a week-long event in Ireland each November, which celebrates science in our everyday lives. It includes workshops, talks, events, and demonstrations, for the public and schools.

Now in its 25th year, Science Week 2020 focused on the theme of ‘Choosing our Future’ and IOLN members rose to the challenge to head online to ensure the Ocean was part of this years events and conservations.

Discover Primary Science and Maths, which is part of Science Foundation Ireland,  launced a video on Ocean literacy, specially designed and produced for primary schools in Ireiand.  The video, which was created in partnership with Galway Atlantaquaria explores how the ocean is important for student’s daily lives, and also how their actions can impact the ocean.

Clean coasts Ireland, also ran Citizen Science Week, in the run up to Science Week 2020, with a series of online events including ‘From your sitting room to the end of the Universe’. The Cleancoast ‘Love your Coast’ Photography Awards 2020 was also held online, and a new series of talks entitled ‘Waters and the Wild’ was launched. Check out the Cleancoasts website and social media pages online for recordings of past events and news about events in the coming weeks and months.

The Marine Institute funded Explorers Education Programme released a special episode of ‘Wild about Wildlife on the Seashore’. Part of this online production asked children to design an Explorers Transformer, inspired by a seashell or seashore animals, which would have a positive influence on the ocean. School events were carried out in assoication with Limerick Science Festival, and the Southeast Science Festival, while a special family show took place with Galway Science and Technology Festival.

Marine Dimensions , from Wicklow also headed online to engage with schools during Science Week, meeting students through events held as part of the Midlands Science Festival.

An Fóram Uisce, the Water Forum collaborated with academics and experts to prepare 3 short videos on the Magic of Water, the physical, chemical and ecological properties of water and what these tell us about our environment.

In videos 1 and 2,  Padraic Creedon and Professor John Stephens use simple experiments and illustrations to explore the different physical and chemical properties of water such as density, salinity, pH.  Waters actions and reactions are tried and tested with very colourful results.

In video 3, Dr Suzanne Linnane and Dr Caroline Gilleran Stephens, investigate river habitats to see what lives among the stones below the surface of the water and they identify the invertebrates that can indicate good water quality.

Galway Atlantaquaria released the first two episodes as part of its new Virtual Tour. As part of Science Week schools were introduced to the species within the aquarium, ocean care and Marine Culture and Heritage.

Dave Wall, Citizen Science Officer with the National Biodiversity Data Centre, gave an introduction to the National Biodiversity Data Centre’s new Explore Your Shore! Citizen Science project and showed how easy it is to record our coastal species and contribute real scientific information to the National Biodiversity Data Centre. During his talk participants were introduced to some of our common seashore species and learnt how to identify them.

Michelle Gaffney from Geological Survey ireland, Marine and Coastal Unit, was one of the featured Graduate Geologists profiled for Science Week 2020. Michelle, who carries out fieldwork on seabed surveying with INFOMAR, acquisition of GPS transects for ESA (European Space Agency) project, and conducting drone and laser scanning with CHERISH also outlined the skills needed for her work and the SDG’s her work is linked to. For Michelle’s full career profile see here.

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