School children in the Stonehaven and Mearns area discovered what’s inside a Treasure Chest when an innovative new educational project was launched on Tuesday.
Maritime Rescue Institute and Aberdeenshire Council have created Treasure Chests for schools in the Mackie Academy catchment area, which are designed to teach children about the local marine environment.
Funded by the council, the chests contain a library of maritime-related educational resources and activities for children in P1 through to P7.
These are centred around 10 key themes, which include water, the weather, search and rescue, sea life and safety. The packs focus on all aspects of life around the coast, including lifeboats, wildlife, birds, lighthouses, smugglers and pollution.
Pupils will be able to get involved in activities such as designing a lifejacket, using maps and charts, learning the phonetic alphabet and how to tie knots.
Rory and Ropey, MRI’s educational mascots, are also included in the chests and are incorporated into the worksheets and activities. S1 pupils at Mackie Academy were also involved in making safety DVDs which form part of the packs.
The treasure chests are linked to the Curriculum for Excellence and the Determined to Succeed enterprise in education initiative.
Judith Salter of Mill of Forest Primary School and Kayleigh McNab of Bervie Primary School were both involved in developing the packs and teachers’ notes, along with Susan Wood, MRI’s education officer, and volunteer Gillian Lomas.
Susan Wood said: “We are delighted to have been able to create these fantastic Treasure Chests in partnership with Aberdeenshire Council and I know the children at our local schools will enjoy all the various activities, which include arts and crafts and interviewing people. They are designed to teach them more about our coastline and reinforce the importance of safety and awareness around the sea and cliffs.
“Many of the activities will take them out of the classroom and into their local environment, and our volunteer lifeboat crews will also be visiting the schools as well as inviting the children to visit MRI at Stonehaven Harbour.
“We are grateful to Aberdeenshire Council for their financial support for this project as well as the help of the teachers and volunteers.”
The 10 schools which received a chest were Mill of Forest, Arduthie, Bervie, Catterline, Kinneff, Dunnottar, Gourdon, Johnshaven, Lairhillock and Glenbervie.
Two children from each of the 10 schools attended the launch at MRI’s base at Stonehaven Harbour, along with Wendy Agnew, Local Councillor, Sandra Ewen, Determined To Succeed National Advisor and Kay McIntosh, Schools Enterprise Development Officer for Aberdeenshire Council.