CIIMAR runs an extensive outreach program addressed to foster the dialogue between scientists and society, to improve the public knowledge and the perception of science and to increase the interest of the young students towards scientific careers.
Most relevant initiatives include:
CIIMAR manages two Centres for Environmental Interpretation and Monitoring (CMIAs) through agreements with the City Councils of Vila do Conde and Matosinhos. Outreach activities includes temporary exhibitions, seminars, workshops performed regular in house and field trips for public of different ages.
"The CIIMAR in School" is an outreach project developed in partnership with the CMIAs of Vila do Conde and Matosinhos designed for students and teachers from the basic to the secondary education. The project seeks to awaken the curiosity of the youngest about the Marine and Environmental Sciences.
The project consists of a free web-based platform containing a set of experimental protocols developed and tested by CIIMAR researchers in the laboratory, liable to be carried out by the teachers in the classroom. In addition, the portal offers a range of free lectures that may be requested by the schools. These lectures will be held in the classroom by CIIMAR researchers and will address various themes within the Marine and Environmental Sciences related to the CIIMAR research areas.
ELA is a public aquarium and local fisheries museum created and managed by Michael Weber, a CIIMAR researcher. The ELA has currently more than 25,000 visitors per year and has a special relevance in what concerns Environmental Education Programmes for all ages.
The AQUAMuseu is located in Vila Nova de Cerveira, in the area of Castelinho. The Aquamuseu has more than 30,000 vistors per year and comprises an aquarium that shows the most characteristics biota of river Minho, from the river spring to the estuary, and a fisheries museum that exhibits old and contemporary fishing gear and memorabilia related to the relation of the population with the river through the times. Its Director, José Carlos Antunes, is a CIIMAR researcher, and CIIMAR has been collaborating in several activities promoted by the AQUAMuseum.
Several types of activities are regularly implemented at CIIMAR to contribute to the promotion of a scientific and technological culture in students and more specifically to encourage the use of experimental methods in science learning, involving both scientific and school communities. Most relevant activities include:
This initiative had its first edition in 2006, and it is organized by the University of Porto, through CIIMAR, and the University of Oviedo. UIM is a program that aims to promote the maritime identity of Portuguese and Spanish students, through the contact with the sea and its potentialities, related activities and culture, under the slogan "knowledge and adventure". It also has the objective to encourage the students to discover the value of working in a group, sharing difficulties and projects, while they take part in all the tasks of the navigation and visit different cities. Courses are organized in land and on board the vessel CREOULA, a 4-masted training ship of the Portuguese Navy built in 1937.
The program MoBIDiC - Intertidal Biodiversity Monitoring and Scientific, works with schools to collect data on marine life in the rocky beaches of Portugal. All information gathered is available through the Internet, a database created for this purpose. The program goes beyond the scientific promotion and awareness of biodiversity issues. The data collected is important for future studies, allowing for example, the detection of qualitative and quantitative variations caused ecological disasters or, in the medium/long term, by climate change.
CIIMAR organizes regularly activities within the Ciência Viva Programme such as "Ocupação Científica de Jovens nas Férias" that allow students to spend 1-2 weeks in CIIMAR laboratories for a first-hand contact with the reality of scientific research work.
Members of CIIMAR are involved in many activities of "Universidade Junior", especially in "Escola de Ciências da Vida e da Saúde", organized since 2005 by the University of Porto.
CIIMAR organizes regularly activities within the Ciência Viva Programme such as "Ciência Viva no Verão" for general public of all ages, in particular family groups.
CIIMAR participates regularly in national and international fairs such as in the "Mostra de Ciência, Ensino e Inovação" organized annually by the University of Porto, the "Forum do Mar" organized by Oceano XXI, and the Biomarine International Business Convention.