O MARE vai à escola reached more than 35000 students

It used to be like this: researchers went to schools by the request of parents, informally. The “O MARE vai à escola” (MARE goes to school) project now takes care of everything: plans, contacts, travels to schools or welcomes schools in the laboratory. And all taking into account the National Sea Strategy, and the Essential Principles of Ocean Literacy.

Times change and today the simple deconstruction of the traditional classroom represents a first step towards something new. The children have good memories of the sessions: “They were at my school and I had the experience of opening a fish,” says one of the children questioned later. And what did they learn? "That fish, although small, have many organs in them," "that the hearts of fish do not have the same shape as ours," and in the words of the children it was good to "explore and experiment". 

Since its start in 2015, “O MARE vai à escola” has held around 1500 sessions, reaching more than 35,000 students. This year there were 361 actions carried out, in which 8526 students participated. With fun and interactive proposals, the goal of the MARE research team, which already has 15 researchers in Lisbon, 15 researchers in Évora, 13 researchers in Coimbra and four researchers at IPL, is to make MARE known and its role in scientific research, increase the levels of ocean literacy, and "awaken" the scientists in the young ones. 

Biologist for a day, MARE goes to the beach, In search of the secrets of the sea, The amazing trips of sea animals are some of the programs that the project has, and this year, within themes such as fish biology and ecology, migrations, fishing or marine ecosystems among many others, the most successful activities were those related to marine litter, the ocean, migration and climate.

In the future, MARE plans to extend to more hubs, create more partnerships, have more volunteers to reach more students, especially from high school.

This was the month of calendar mapping and activity preparation. It will be this month that the educational program for the 2019-2020 school year will be presented at events for teachers in Lisbon and Figueira da Foz, to  start the activities. MARE-ULisboa will host an event to present its educational program "MARE goes to school", on October 25th, at FCUL.