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H2O Heroes in SFI Discover Funding Success

02 April 2024

Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) is extremely proud to announce that the H2O Heroes initiative has been awarded almost €60k towards promoting their environmental education programme in primary schools. The H2O Heroes programme at DkIT is co-ordinated by Dr Caroline Gilleran Stephens and Dr Suzanne Linnane from the Centre for Freshwater and Environmental Studies.

The initiative is an action-orientated education package designed for 4th, 5th and 6th class primary school children which is aimed at introducing and exploring key components of the science behind our water resources. The goal of the Institute’s H2O Heroes programme is to inspire, inform and engage and this enables children to become real life H2O Heroes and ambassadors for the protection of our most valuable resource, water (H2O), as well as recognise the value of science in their everyday lives.

The funding will not only help the H2O Heroes team spread their workshops into primary schools, but it also helps them to train up teachers of 4th-6th class pupils, and send their 'lab in a box’ packs out to primary schools across the North-East.

Dr Caroline Gilleran Stephens said

“We bring real science, real scientists and live macroinvertebrate samples into classrooms for children to explore. Children are provided the opportunity and taught the skills to participate in authentic hands-on science activities and they really embrace becoming scientists. We are delighted to receive this SFI Discover funding, which will allow for even greater engagement with schools, teachers, children, families and the wider public across the North-East in 2024 “

The H2O Heroes funding was among the 38 announced by Simon Harris, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, and Norma Foley, Minister for Education.

Welcoming the announcement, Dr Ruth Freeman, Director, Science for Society, Science Foundation Ireland, said:

SFI are delighted to support H2O Heroes through the SFI Discover Programme. Engaging learners in environmental topics is vital to ensure that they remain eco conscious citizens. It is fantastic to see fun, hands-on learning taking place on the topic of our planet’s most vital resource and how human activity is dependent on water resources. We’re looking forward to seeing how this project inspires the next generation of environmental custodians.

If your school would like to engage with H2O Heroes, find out more at or get in contact by emailing

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