IOI-KIDS Best Project Competition 2010 – Online Voting

Casting your vote is easy!!

Join us to vote online the best project for the IOIKIDS competition this year. Just connect to:

( and you will find there the best contributions made by participants from Thailand, Malta, Ukraine and South Africa. These projects were selected from local contests made by the IOI Centres in the respective countries. They are now in the process of competing through online voting (50%) and peer selection (50%). The works will be appearing for online voting on the IOI-KIDS website until the end of November, and voting will be open to anybody linking to the dedicated voting system.

The IOI-KIDS project is the quintessential expression of the IOI’s mission to help children, youth, community groups and teachers across the world to share ideas, projects and experiences about the sea. The IOI-KIDS centrepiece is the website ( with its appealing and colourful graphical interface. It uses the internet medium as a tool for creating awareness amongst the younger generations, and providing an avenue for presenting knowledge on the marine environment in visual and content appealing formats, through the use of interactive educational games, informative articles, quizzes, learning resources and video features, including contributions from young authors and teachers, and from individuals that nourish the talent of reaching out to youth with the appropriate language and approach.

Within the activities of the IOI-KIDS project this year a competition entitled the International IOI-KIDS Best Project Competition 2010 was organised with the direct participation of partner IOI Centres.  Within this competition primary and secondary school children were challenged to combine their artistic and computer talents to prepare attractive and informative electronic contributions in the form of projects on topics related to the sea. The competition was open to individuals or teams of children worldwide and youngsters in two separate age groups: (Age 5-10) and (Age 11-16).

The participants were expected to produce computer-based projects about topics related to the sea and the coast including ecosystems, protection of the sea, plant and species, discoveries etc…The submitted works were expected to consist of an instructive project prepared as an electronic file that could take the shape of several forms and have the following attributes:  write-up in the form of a lesson, an essay, poem or story, a web page, a database or collection that can be shared online, a set of notes on a selected topic, a PowerPoint presentation; focused on a theme that relates to the sea and/or the coast; and complemented with images (in the form of photos or drawings) and/or audio or video clips.

The competitions were firstly organized on a national level with each partner IOI Centre implementing identical guidelines to pursue projects within a consensual framework. A number of winning projects from each age category were chosen and uploaded on the website, totaling to 15 from all the participating IOI-Centres.

So go ahead….have a look at the projects….and vote the project which you believe should win the competition.

Jellyfish Campaign

The Spot the Jellyfish campaign is coordinated by Prof. Aldo Drago with the technical and scientific implementation of Dr. Alan Deidun and staff of IOI-MOC, and enjoys the support of the Malta Tourism Authority (MTA) and of Nature Trust, Friends of the Earth, EkoSkola and the BlueFlag Malta programme. The initiative is funded through the IOI Women, Youth and the Sea programme known as IOI-Kids and follows a citizen science approach, relying on the collaboration of the general public, mariners, divers, and especially the younger generations through their teachers and parents, by recruiting their assistance in recording the presence and location of different jellyfish through the use of a dedicated colourful reporting leaflet. The leaflet was widely distributed, and could be directly downloaded from, which is replete with snippets and anecdotes about different jellyfish species. With the support of MTA, large posters have furthermore been projected on boards along major bays on both islands. The main aim of the initiative was to foster awareness amongst the younger generations and the public in general of the diversity of gelatinous plankton in our waters.

The reporting was done by simply matching the sighted jellyfish with a simple visual identification guide, giving the date and time of the sighting, and indicating the number of jellies seen. Sightings could also be reported online or submitted through an SMS on 79 222 278, or by sending an email message to Strange jellyfish not included on the leaflet were caught and kept in a bucketful of seawater prior to contacting IOI-MOC staff ( for retrieval to attempt a definite identification of the species. If this is not possible, photos of the same individuals were taken.

Over three hundred and sixty reports of different jellyfish species have been submitted by the public, and can be viewed online on a summary map ( which depicts jellyfish occurrence and distribution. Some of the jellyfish species reported constitute first records for local coastal waters, including Porpita porpita (the blue button), which was reported by an 11-year-old girl and Aequorea sp., which belongs to the crystal jellyfish group. Other cnidarian species recorded included the notorious siphonophore Portuguese-man-o-war (Physalia physalis), by-the-wind sailor (Velella velella), both of which are actually colonies of hundreds of different polyps, the ubiquitous mauve stinger (Pelagia noctiluca), the cigar jellyfish (Olindias phosphorica) and the fried egg jellyfish (Cotylorhiza tuberculata). Ctenophore species recorded during the initiative include Leucothea sp. and Beroe ovata, whilst a number of pelagic tunicates, namely pyrosomes (e.g. Pyrosoma maxima) and salps (e.g. Salpa maxima). The initiative will ensue during the winter months.

Further info: