The Blue Schools project is an educational project aiming to bring marine research and sea life closer to school pupils and the public at large in the Terres de l’Ebre region in southern Catalonia. The project received a grant from the ‘Public competition for grants to promote scientific and technological culture and innovation, 2016’ awarded by the Spanish government’s Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT) and is also supported by the Catalan government’s Department of Education, and developed during 2017.
We place a special emphasis on introducing marine sciences into schools, bringing information and examples of recent marine research to pupils who have little access to science education events as they live in areas far away from large cities or important research centres. We also aim to encourage all age groups and sectors of local populations, from the very young to the elderly, to get to know and appreciate local coastal and marine ecosystems in the area – declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. – and to show them how marine science affects our everyday lives.

The project is divided into two parts:

Developing the Blue Schools concept and designing a logo that participating schools can use.

A Blue School is a centre which includes content related to the sea in their education programmes by using marine science as a cross-curricular theme and creates activities for pupils to come into contact with marine scientists. A group of eight secondary schools in the Lower Ebro region were selected to participate in the first year of the project. We designed a Blue Schools logo for them to use to indicate they form part of the project.

The schools participate through different kinds of marine science-related activities:

Teacher training through our Marine Science Camp Campus de Ciències del Mar.

During a four-day series of workshops, teachers (usually two members from the Science Department of each secondary school) work with researchers specialized in different fields of marine science, with the aim of introducing the subject into the syllabus of their science courses. The sessions will look at the work currently being carried out by both local research centres and the leading centres in Catalonia (Marine Science Institute, CSIC; Barcelona University; Institute of Agro-food Research and Technology, IRTA; Centre for Advanced Studies in Blanes, belonging to the CSIC; and Girona University).


Marine Science Classroom Assistants at secondary schools in the Terres de l’Ebre region Auxiliars de Ciències del Mar en instituts del Baix Ebre,  la Ribera d’Ebre i el Montsià.

The concept of a Marine Science assistant is similar to the recent introduction of assistants in language classes at many schools. The idea is that the assistant provides advice and help throughout the project, both in person in the classroom and online. This consists in working with teachers to prepare learning materials to use the marine science knowledge they acquire during the Marine Science Camp and other ideas the assistant suggests, with an emphasis on new research developments so as to connect classroom content with current news in the world of marine science. Assistants also provide support for designing experiments and practical work both in and out of class.


Creating a Blue Case as a resource Maleta de la Mar com a recurs.

The Blue Case consists of a basic kit of useful materials to learn about marine science in the classroom. It provides materials, objects and equipment related to marine research which is not usually available in a secondary school, such as samples of invertebrate organisms, samples of plankton and different-sized and sourced sands, ictiometers (a fish-measuring device), a Secchi disk to measure water transparency, plankton nets, and other objects.

‘Sea, science and Terres de l’Ebre’ workshops and talks for the general public

One of our objectives is that learning about the sea and coastal life is not only limited to schools but that it also reaches the public at large through a series of workshops and talks.


With this in mind, we organize talks and practical workshops for people to get to know more about the exceptional variety and importance of the coastal and sea life in the Terres de l’Ebre region and we also explain what kind of scientific research is being carried out in the area at local research centres. This activity is suitable for all ages, from young children to the elderly.


We usually give our talks and workshops in local libraries or cultural centres. We presently have sixteen activities lined up for different towns around the Terres de l’Ebre region.