Environmental packs for schools


School students will be encouraged to develop a lifelong passion for the environment, with the help of new resources published today.

Materials developed by the Department of the Environment and the Environmental Protection Agency were unveiled by Minister of State for the Environment Ciaran Cuffe, and director general of the agency Dr Mary Kelly.

They are designed to support teachers who are exploring the key environmental issues facing Ireland today.

The Eco Detectives resource pack for teachers includes a range of environmental and climate change investigations for primary school children. A second, multimedia resource 2020 Vision: A closer look at Ireland’s Environment, is for second-level teachers of Transition Year, CSPE, science or junior cycle geography subjects.

“As part of Ireland’s national climate change campaign, Change, we are ensuring that the youth of today and of tomorrow will endeavour to help change our behaviour in order to address the effects of climate change and protect Ireland s environment,” Mr Cuffe said.

“Both sets of resources are exciting and interactive and will assist teachers in engaging engage students with the key environmental issues we face today.”

Mr Cuffe said the activities in the primary school workbooks would “make the children feel as if they are real eco-detectives with lots of outdoor investigations and experiments for them to take part in”.

“Learning about climate change and the environment should be appealing and fun and I believe these resources are the way forward in addressing attitudes and behaviour in Ireland today and for its future generations.”

Dr Kelly said the second-level resources were based around the agency’s vision of the Irish environment to the year 2020.

“By then lots of the students who will have used these materials in schools across the country will be young adults, well-versed in the values of sustainable living.”

She hoped the materials would “influence a generation of young people to have a lifelong passion for the environment”.

Teachers were consulted in the development of the materials to ensure they were tailored to deliver what would work best in the classroom.

At today’s launch in the Science Gallery in Dublin, environmentalist Gavin Harte conducted a multimedia workshop with the help of photographs, video clips, and animations.

Every primary school in the country will receive the Eco Detectives pack, and the resources will also be available at www.enfo.ie in English and Irish.

The 2020 Vision resources are available to download from the EPA website in English and Irish.