PR: Bringing the oceans to a classroom near you! Launch of online resources and teacher competition

Catlin Arctic Survey 2011 Martin Hartley
Catlin Arctic Survey 2011

If a good lungful of sea air and messing about in mudflats with ocean scientists and experts on the south coast sounds a good way to begin or end your half term, Digital Explorer wants to hear from you!

Launching a national competition for teachers of Science and Geography at Key Stages 3 and 4, Digital Explorer aims to inspire and support teachers around the UK with oceans learning in the classroom through well-rounded and practical training in the ‘real world,’ led by established scientists, oceans experts and record-breaking sailors.

The training and accompanying online Oceans Channel is sponsored by Catlin Group Limited, which is engaged with funding research and educational programmes looking at how the planet’s oceans are changing.

Given that we in Britain we are never more than 72 miles from the sea, eat fish and chips as a national dish and have over 11,000 miles of coastline, we know remarkably little about coastal ecosystems, ocean research and just how much we rely on the seas for survival.

If you have a passion for oceans and experiential learning, are keen to share what you learn with others, and quite fancy being part of a unique two-day training session on England’s south coast, apply online now until Sunday 9th October at

Run over a choice of two sessions, Sat 22nd – Sun 23rd or Fri 28th – Sat 29th October, the training will involve first-hand learning with scientists who have recently returned from the Arctic on topics such as the carbon cycle, ocean acidification and oceans currents and climate. The all-inclusive session will also include a visit to the cold room at the National Oceanography Centre (ever conducted an experiment at -20°C?), sailing around the coast while examining ecosystems and workshops on implementing oceans learning in the classroom.

The competition forms part of Digital Explorer’s wider oceans education programme, aiming to support teachers nationwide deliver an exciting and current programme relating to the taught Science and Geography curricula and providing young people with a sound scientific basis for making decisions about their future.

The online Oceans Channel will launch fully on 22nd October and will include free and robust downloadable classroom resources and an Oceans Ambassadors scheme.

With films, activity and fact sheets, workshop and lesson plans, the Channel will be a unique and comprehensive resource centre for oceans learning in the UK and will work hand-in-hand with the Oceans Ambassadors programme, which enables people who love oceans – sailors, scientists and adventurers – to speak in schools. The areas of expertise that the Ambassadors cover include marine biology, polar science, marine pollution and the carbon cycle. Each Ambassador is highly qualified in their field and keen to communicate their knowledge in an engaging and digestible manner for wider and younger audiences without ‘dumbing down.’

8 September 2011