IOI Ocean Academy Sri Lanka Offers an Additional Junior Scientists Programme for School Children; Columbo, Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka IOI Ocean Academy Director, Aruna Maheepala, in collaboration with host Institute, the National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA), initiated the Junior Scientists Fellowship programme, structured to conduct both online and physical workshops targeting school students in the age groups of 14–15 during a 10-month period. This educational programme was offered under the general umbrella of the IOI Ocean Academy’s Ocean Literacy outreach


The first educational workshop was held on March 4th and 5th, at the NARA auditorium in Colombo, Sri Lanka, with the participation of a total of 56 students and 11 teachers from 11 schools (5 students from each school). During the programme, students were made aware of the responsibilities of NARA and the aim of initiating this fellowship programme for school students with the support of the International Ocean Institute (IOI). Moreover, resource persons (Senior Scientists of NARA) conducted lectures to share basic knowledge in the fields of marine biology, oceanography, environmental studies, and nautical charting. Students were actively engaged in group activities designed under the theme “a sustainable Indian Ocean for future generations''. Participating students were very keen on the field visit to NARA's research vessel Samudrika anchored at Dickovita Fishery Harbour, obtaining practical experience on the research operations conducted onboard related to oceanography and hydrographic fields. 


This educational programme - offered under the general umbrella of the IOI Ocean Academy’s Ocean Literacy outreach - was a resounding success, and the students were grateful for the opportunity to participate in such an enriching and fulfilling experience, inspired and motivated to continue their pursuit of knowledge and learning.


Dr. Nimal Kumarasinghe, Chairman, Dr. T.D.K.D. Tennakoon, Director General, and Dr. G. GanegamaArachchi, Deputy Director General, heads of the technical divisions and scientists, participated in the event representing NARA, while Mr. Vipula Kulathunga, Deputy Director of Science Promotion Section, attended the programme representing the Ministry of Education.