Tipp school wins Good Idea award

Thu, May 3, 2012, 01:00

A Co Tipperary school project promoting clean energy to help the environment and the economy received the national One Good Idea award today.

The group from Presentation Secondary School, Thurles, was among 1,500 students to enter the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland competition to find “one good idea” to tackle climate change and promote energy efficiency.

Giving parents a chance to test-drive an electric car and convincing local shops to sell strogs (straw logs) were among the initiatives by the winning Thurles “Generation Green” team.

“Everyone knows [about climate change], but they don’t know the facts, they don’t know enough to do anything about it,” Thurles transition year student Emma Kerwick (16) said today.

“We really wanted people to realise the potential of this [clean energy],” said Thurles transition year student Mary Claire Hanafin (16). She added that switching to local energy alternatives such as strogs would also help the Irish economy.

The project will represent Ireland in the European Commission's EU4Energy awards and the school has received €1000.

An initiative by a Dublin school to recycle Dart tickets was the competition’s senior award winner. The students from Holy Child Secondary School, Killiney, had collected 4,000 tickets that may otherwise have been thrown out.

The junior prize went to Mountmellick Community School for its project to save energy in the local community.

Minister of State at the Department of Energy Fergus O’Dowd presented the awards. He said the projects showed that there were “some truly creative and talented students in our midst.”

The “imagination and creativity” of the new projects was “really inspiring”, Brian Motherway of the energy authority said. "All it takes is one good idea to have a lasting impact," he added.