Schools in the UK and beyond are being urged to join a world-first global science experiment, as part of World Ocean Day for Schools 2024. This year the annual day of Ocean celebration and learning for kids is working with Dr Pamela Buchan, Research Fellow at the University of Exeter, to run a global science research experiment to capture data around marine identity, marine citizenship & connection to the Ocean.

Taking place on Friday 7th June this year, World Ocean Day for Schools, is aligned to the UN Ocean Decade, and is a free day of activities, with a live online assembly, digital workshops and lesson plans. This year the theme is around what it means to be a ‘good blue human’. Teachers can find out more and register to be part of this years activity below.

“World Ocean Day for schools continues to grow year-on-year, with 7,864 schools around the world – from London to Lisbon, and Mexico to Mongolia – now signed-up. The whole day encourages children to connect to their local blue space, be that a tiny steam, river, lake or the sea – and from there inspire them to become ocean advocates. Crucially, it is accessible for any school to take part, regardless of where they are located. Whether you are by the sea or in the middle of a city, you can still join in!

This year we are collaborating with our amazing partners and interdisciplinary marine scientist, Dr. Pamela Buchan, to mobilise this incredible, international network of young people to join in a global science experiment, which will be the first of its kind.”

Linzi Hawkin, World Ocean Day for Schools

“My research shows that the relationships people have with the Ocean, and how these interact with their sense of identity, are important factors in taking action for the Ocean. Scientists increasingly recognise that the decisions and actions of people and society are the biggest barriers to a sustainable future, which makes understanding what motivates people to care for the environment essential to our future wellbeing.

World Ocean Day for Schools is a fantastic opportunity not only to explore the relationships people have with the sea, but also to understand how these relationships are formed in childhood. This is the first time that marine citizenship and what motivates it will be investigated in young people on a global scale. The data collected through this project will help researchers to better understand how marine citizenship can be promoted in all people.”

Dr Pamela Buchan

Once they have registered, teachers will receive free resources, lesson plans and experiential activities (aimed at Key Stage 2 and 3) to engage children in exciting conversations about the Ocean. This year the learning objectives will focus on three concepts – which form the basis of the research experiment:

  • Marine identity – Who we are ‘being’ in relation to the ocean
  • Marine citizenship – What we are ‘doing’ in relation to the ocean
  • Place attachment – How we are ‘connecting’ to the ocean

There are 6 core activities that teachers can choose to do some, or all, of. These include individual exercises, like creating memory maps of blue spaces and a mindful ‘sit spot’ activity, alongside class-wide activities such as a fun ‘find your marine identity’ quiz and developing an action plan to help support their local blue space.

Once teachers have completed any of the lesson elements they can upload them via the Our Blue hub and all the data from the completed activities will feed into the research project.

We are delighted to be a major sponsor for World Ocean Day for Schools 2024.

“Connecting young people with the Ocean and helping them curate a love and understanding of our blue planet is at the core of everything we do.

It has been wonderful to witness the growth of the World Ocean Day for School programme, and the international scope and engagement reached through ‘Our Blue’ is incredible. Together with so many incredibly passionate teachers across the globe, we are making an invaluable and positive impact in the lives of thousands of young people, encouraging them to Think Ocean and work towards a healthier and happier Ocean for future generations.

This year, as well as supporting in the delivery of the 2024 WOD for Schools programme, we are proud to be elevating our commitment to the success of this initiative by becoming a major sponsor.”

Nicola Bridge, Head of Ocean Advocacy and Engagement at the OCT