Ceòl Na Mara The Song of the Sea – Mary Morrison, Comann Eachdraidh Uibhist A Tuath, (North Uist Historical Society)
This presentation will share the methodology, (or ways our historical society has developed), of working with schoolchildren, using an outreach team of largely retired volunteers. We aim to engage the young people closely with their marine/coastal environment and to help them explore the effects of the past on the present.  The island of North Uist in the Outer Hebrides has a fragile economy, but a unique, Gaelic language and material culture, rich in oral tradition and music.  Possibly these may be more naturally conserved and perpetuated here than elsewhere, due to the ‘Lab’ like conditions provided by the liminal nature of our topology.  Our climate is wild; we live on the edge. The effects of climate change seem to be more evident now; storms, gales, flooding and coastal erosion are happening more and more frequently.  Collaboration with St Andrews University has ensured aspects of immersive technology are embedded in our practice. We believe we have some innovative research in action to share, in terms of the way the children have investigated and presented their findings through storytelling, newscasts, drama, music and song. We will attempt to illustrate this though extracts from the children’s work about St Kilda, and their most recent film, ‘Cearcall a Chuain’, which investigates our local marine life, industries (such as our ferries, seaweed, boatbuilding, and fishing) but also shipwrecks. This latter category has included, more recently, two GPS tracked, drifter boats that reached our shores from Maine USA, with one, ‘West’,  travelling via Portugal.