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Press Release: Wexford Creative Communities with Irish Girl Guides

“Fish or Foul?’ Wexford Creative Communities Project

Irish Girl Guides from the Seashell Guiding District led by Una Wafer in Cahore and Courtown, have come together to explore the impact of litter pollution on the local marine environment, through the lens of sustainability and creativity.

The project is coordinated by Calmast STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) Engagement Centre, Waterford Institute of Technology. Brownies, Girl Guides and Senior Branch are joined by Órla Bates, a local visual artist and qualified teacher in art and design education who has over fifteen years of experience.

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

The project kicked off last month for a two-part educational day on Cahore beach with a talk from Explorers Outreach Officer, Dr Gillian Wheatly from the Explorers Education Programme, which is funded by the Marine Institute, followed by a guided tour by Donal McGrath of Cahore Inshore Rescue Service.

Kayleigh Foran, STEM Engagement Coordinator with Calmast remarked that the 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 girl’s confidence in STEM, sea stewardship and sense of responsibility.”

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.

The Hub and Cluster model, which is funded by Science Foundation Ireland, brings the main actors in the locality together, such as local government, libraries, industry, higher education, schools and other organisations collectively, in clusters to deliver STEM engagement through beneficial partnerships in their area.

Last weekend in conjunction with a mono-printing and drawing session, an educational talk and tour of the Seal Rescue Ireland Centre, Courtown was given by Educational Manager, Krysten Maier. During the session through hands-on activities, Guides learned about the rehabilitation process of seals and the effects humans often have on their natural environment.

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 yearlong project that brings five communities and five creatives together under five climate action themes.

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.

 

For more information on the project, please contact Kayleigh at Kayleigh.foran@wit.ie