Pupils of Scoil Cholmchille in Malin are the overall winners of the inaugural national prize for the Marine Institute’s Explorers Ocean Champions Award.
The accolade was presented yesterday by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue.
The school beat off competition from 27 primary schools across 13 coastal counties, creating ‘healthy ocean’ projects covering themes from STEM, outdoor education, through to the arts and ocean literacy.
School principal, Mary Harkin, said they are absolutely delighted to have won the national prize.
“Our pupils are innately interested in the maritime heritage of their local coastal area and are keenly aware of the importance of the sea, as a life- giving source, as well as being very conscious of the dangers inherent in making a living from the sea,” she said.
“We view this award as testament to the close working, supportive relationship between the school and the local community and we would like to dedicate this award to all those from the area who have lost their lives to the sea.”
For their project ‘Save our Seas’, the Malin children learned about the links between the local community and the marine environment.
They also engaged in real marine science activities taking and examining plankton samples from the ocean, learning the lifecycle of salmon, and also studying local seaweeds.
The children created songs, ‘Save our Seas’ posters and engaged with local traditional boat builders led by John Bonner and their community, to learn about boats and local fishing practices.
Congratulating the pupils, Minister McConalogue said “the Explorers Ocean Champion awards recognises the effort, commitment and collaboration of the children, their teachers and the wider community, working together to learn about the importance of the ocean, as well as our unique maritime culture and heritage. I warmly congratulate all of the children of Scoil Cholmchille on winning this award for creating what is a unique and inspirational project and wish to thank their teachers and members of the local community in Malin who assisted them”.
The Marine Institute Funded Explorers Education Programme has been delivering marine-themed modules to classes for nearly 15 years. The Explorers outreach team brings together scientists, teachers, outreach teams and communities together, inspiring the education network to create marine leaders and ocean champions.Tags: