One hundred and seventy-five children and teachers from primary schools across greater Belfast gathered at Belfast Harbour recently for a morning of innovation and discovery to mark the 175th Anniversary of Belfast Harbour Commissioners.
Children from Cranmore Integrated PS, Oakwood Integrated PS, Orangefield PS and St Matthew’s PS engaged in a range of interactive activities in Belfast Harbour’s Harbour Office and across the wider Harbour Estate – facilitated by industry partners from Amelio Utilities, BSH Limited, Farrans Construction, JP Corry and McAdam Design.
The cross-community event was co-ordinated and led by the Titanic Schools Project (TSP), winner of a special grant in this year’s Belfast Harbour Community Awards to commemorate the 175th Anniversary.
A volunteer historical society entirely focused on organising educational events on STEM learning and climate change, TSP has delivered educational content to approximately 10,000 students on four continents with a number of partner organisations and sponsors since its formation in 2002.
TSP Founder Terry Madill – a STEM ambassador and the fifth generation of his family to work in the Harland and Wolff shipyard – explained how Titanic was used as a hook to engage the Key Stage 2 pupils in wider STEM themes.
“The Titanic is of huge cultural significance to Northern Ireland, and it is widely regarded as a symbol of innovation and industry,” he said. “As a key part of P4 or P5 curriculum in local primary schools, we are always hugely encouraged to see just how interested the kids are to learn more about Titanic and how it can be used as a hook to engage them in more contemporary themes such as environmentalism and innovation.
“Across the morning we went far beyond the Titanic, delving further into the worlds of science, technology, engineering and maths and exploring some of the greatest innovations in recent years – many of which can be seen ‘in action’ across the Belfast Harbour Estate.”
Allison Dowling, Communications and Marketing Director, Belfast Harbour said:
“Since our formation in 1847, Belfast Harbour Commissioners has been at the forefront of innovation, establishing Belfast as a world leading maritime Port.
“Today’s event was about showcasing this innovation to the children and inspiring them with the endless possibilities that can be realised through science, technology, engineering and maths.
“Our partnership with the Titanic Schools Project to deliver events such as this is an example of how Belfast Harbour’s Community Awards, alongside our wider continued investment in local communities, are enabling us to provide a gateway to opportunity for current and future generations.”
This year, Belfast Harbour has allocated an increased fund of £75,000.00 to grassroots organisations across Northern Ireland through the 2022 Belfast Harbour Community Awards.
Following two successful funding rounds in 2021 which provided £50,000 to projects across the region, this year’s Awards invited eligible community organisations, not for profit groups, and charities registered in Northern Ireland to apply for individual grants of up to £5,000.
The Belfast Harbour Community Awards are part of Belfast Harbour’s ongoing commitment to being a socially responsible port, and building partnerships with organisations which support communities, the environment and the development of employability and skills.