The educational team of the Blue World Institute participated together with representatives of partner organizations in the project “Islands in the Sea of Knowledge” – Strengthening the capacity of civil society organizations to popularize STEM, on a study trip to Portugal. The goal of this trip was to develop new creative ideas for the popularization of marine science while exchanging experiences with colleagues during participation in workshops and visits to the Whale Museum in Madeira and the Oceanographic Museum in Lisbon.

The first stop of our study trip was the island of Madeira and the Whale Museum, which is located in Canical. There we were presented with knowledge about the biology, ecology and research methods of whales in the Madeira archipelago in a modern way, and at the same time learned about the history of whaling on Madeira. In addition to visiting the museum itself, we also participated in a workshop where representatives of the museum’s scientific and educational team presented examples of good practice in education about the sea and the application of STEM in workshops with children. After the island of Madeira, we visited Lisbon and the Oceanographic Museum. As part of the Oceanographic Museum, we visited the museum’s permanent exhibit – an aquarium containing 5 million liters of seawater in which four marine habitats create the illusion of one aquarium and one ocean. We also visited the temporary installation ‘Underwater Forest’ created by Takashi Amano with music by composer Rodrigo Leão, and the exhibition ‘ONE, Ocean like you’ve never felt’ – an audio-visual art installation that shows the deep connection between people and the sea. In addition to visiting the Oceanographic Museum itself, we participated in a workshop intended for educators and teachers, during which the experts of the Oceanographic Museum presented us with tools and demonstrated the STEM activities they carry out as part of education about the marine environment with the aim of drawing students’ attention to the importance of the ocean and promoting ocean literacy. During our stay in Lisbon, we also visited Pavilhão do Conhecimento – Ciência Viva, the largest science and technology center in the country. We had the opportunity to produce a tornado, ride a bicycle on a rope several meters above the ground, lie on a bed of nails, play with shadows and light effects, participate in laboratory and kitchen activities, and we spoke with researchers and much more. On the last day, we visited the National Science and Natural History Museum in Lisbon and headed home.

The project was co-financed by the European Union from the European Social Fund. The content of this publication is the sole responsibility of the Blue World Institute.

Project partners:
Blue World Institute
Vis Archipelago Unesco Global Geopark
Croatian Museum of Natural History / Croatian Natural History
Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, Juraj Dobrila University in Pula