What is SeaKeepers?
The SeaKeepers Project is a new initiative of the Green-Schools Global Citizenship Marine Environment theme, which provides primary school teachers with a suite of resources and lesson plans focusing on the ecology of six native Irish marine species. The resources currently available are aimed at third and fourth class students. In order to measure the effectiveness of these resources we ask teachers to complete our Species Identification Survey with their class once before, and once after, delivering the lessons. One class nationally will be selected for a free beach exploration workshop in their area in June 2020, the winning class will be selected at random from classes who complete the species lessons and submit their repeat survey results by the deadline (May 1, 2020).
Why marine biodiversity?
Ireland has an extremely rich marine environment, but our oceans are increasingly threatened by climate change, pollution, and overfishing among others.
We believe that to really care about something you must first be aware of it, and have a personal, emotional connection to it. We hope that by increasing students’ knowledge of, and interest in, the animals and plants living near and in our seas, they will develop a personal appreciation for the coasts and will be inspired to make more sustainable choices as they grow older.
How does SeaKeepers work?
Teachers must first download the Species Identification Survey, print and distribute to their students in class. The students should complete the survey independently without help from the teacher, and before any lessons are taught with regard to these species. The aim of this survey is to get baseline information about students’ general knowledge of Irish marine biodiversity; it is expected that they will score low in the ID survey.
The teacher should then use the Data Recording Sheet to compile the results of the surveys. The completed Data Recording Sheet should be submitted to email@example.com by Friday, October 25. There is no need to submit the students’ individual surveys.
Teachers that submit completed Data Recording Sheets will be emailed access to our SeaKeepers Resource Pack, which will include PowerPoint lessons, background information and an activity sheet for students relating to six Irish marine species. These materials will be relevant for the Living Things and Environmental Awareness and Care strands of the SESE curriculum.
Teachers complete the lessons with their class between November and April. All lessons should be completed before the Easter holidays. After completing the full suite of lessons teachers will be asked to re-survey the students to see if their identification skills have improved. The repeat survey results will be due by Friday, May 1, 2020. All participating classes will receive a certificate and one lucky class will then be selected to receive a beach exploration workshop next June provided by Green-Schools staff!
It [the SeaKeepers Project] is an excellent programme… The children have showed so much enthusiasm for the programme and are finding it extremely interesting and enjoyable… This programme has opened the children’s eyes to the native species on our little island. As we go through each lesson the children start to relate the material back to visits to the beach they had during the summer months… This is why this programme is so valuable, it highlights and raises awareness for topics that are not in our current SESE programmes.
Eilis McCabe, St Brigid’s NS, Co. Kildare; participating teacher in the SeaKeepers Project pilot, Spring 2019.
SeaKeepers Project Beach Exploration Workshop June 2019
How to apply
Applications are now closed for this academic year. If you submitted your completed Data Collection Sheet before October 25 then the link to your SeaKeepers Project resources has been sent to you via email. If you have not received the link, or are having difficulty accessing the resources, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information on applying for the 2020/2021 SeaKeepers Project will be available online in September 2020.
The SeaKeepers Project is an initiative of the Green-Schools Global Citizenship Marine Environment theme, sponsored by the Marine Environment and Foreshore section of the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government.