Skip to main content
Irish Girl Guides from the Seashell Guiding District are pictured at the Seal Rescue Ireland Centre, Courtown. The project is coordinated by Calmast STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) Engagement Centre, Waterford Institute of Technology. Picture: Patrick Browne


News

Wexford Girl Guides deep dive into marine welfare

Scroll
4 min read

Wexford Girl Guides deep dive into marine welfare

4 min read

15/03/22

Wexford Girl Guides deep dive into marine welfare

Irish Girl Guides from the Seashell Guiding District in Cahore and Courtown have joined forces to explore the impact of litter pollution on the local marine environment, through a creative and sustainable lens.

A Wexford Creative Communities Project, ‘Fish or Foul?’ is led by Una Wafer and coordinated by Calmast STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) Engagement Centre, Waterford Institute of Technology. This collective of Brownies, Girl Guides and Senior Branch are also joined by Órla Bates, a local visual artist and qualified teacher in art and design education.

A five-week project, the group will explore printmaking, drawing and mono-printing by using materials found on local Wexford beaches. Items collected will be used to create a set of collagraph prints with the final works set to be exhibited and sold as a fundraiser for Seal Rescue Ireland.

The project kicked off in February at a two-part educational day on Cahore Beach. This featured a talk from Explorers Outreach Officer, Dr Gillian Wheatly of the Explorers Education Programme, funded by the Marine Institute, and was followed by a guided tour courtesy of Donal McGrath of Cahore Inshore Rescue Service.

Kayleigh Foran, STEM Engagement Coordinator with Calmast, remarked that the ‘Fish or Foul?’ project aims to engage young people in the topic of marine pollution and its effect on their local area: 

“The Creative Communities project has given Girl Guides the unique opportunity to reflect and critique the world around them, innovatively and excitingly. The community support network, facilitated by the Hub and Cluster model has allowed them to explore their locality from a new perspective, increasing the girls’ confidence in STEM, sea stewardship and their sense of responsibility.”

Above: Irish Girl Guides from the Seashell Guiding District are pictured at the Seal Rescue Ireland Centre, Courtown. The project is coordinated by Calmast STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) Engagement Centre, Waterford Institute of Technology. Picture: Patrick Browne

The project is part of a wider Hub and Cluster initiative founded by Calmast, to significantly increase STEM education and public engagement across the entire South East. Six regional clusters have been formed in Wexford, New Ross, Waterford, Kilkenny, Clonmel and Dungarvan.

Funded by Science Foundation Ireland, the Hub and Cluster model brings the main actors in the locality together in clusters – from local government, libraries and industry, to higher education, schools and more – to deliver STEM engagement through beneficial partnerships in their area. 

As well as a mono-printing and drawing session which took place in early March, Krysten Maieran, Educational Manager of the Seal Rescue Ireland Centre, Courtown, gave a fascinating educational talk and tour of the centre. Through hands-on activities during the session, the Guides learned about the rehabilitation process of seals and the effects humans often have on their natural environment. 

Photo: Patrick Browne

Kayleigh added, “sustainability and positive climate action are hugely important topics as the region collectively tries to do their part in the fight against climate change.”

In addition to the Wexford Creative Communities project, Calmast has also founded several climate-focused initiatives, including a six-week sustained engagement programme for Transition Year students entitled, STEMReach Sustainability: Your Story Our Future, and ACT Waterford, a year-long project that brings five communities and five creatives together under five climate action themes.

ACT Waterford is also one of 15 nationwide projects being funded by Creative Ireland’s €2 million Creative Climate Action Fund.

The Wexford Creative Communities project is funded and supported by Wexford County Council in partnership with Creative Ireland as part of the Creative Communities Programme.

news
letter

Sign up to our newsletter to stay up to date with the latest news and events at Creative Ireland