Energy-aware pupils through to All-Ireland eco finals

Photo by Aaron McCracken/Harrisons
Photo by Aaron McCracken/Harrisons

EIGHT pupils from Mullavilly Primary School will be travelling to the Mansion House in Dublin on Tuesday where they will be competing to be of one of the greenest schools in Ireland.

The school’s eco team made it to the All-Ireland final after winning the Ulster heat of the ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalist Awards with their ‘Save Energy, Save Money’ project.

The team, consisting of P5-7 pupils Aimee-Jo Abraham, Rebekah Sinton, Zoe Rafferty, Sara-Jo Loney, Helen Sinton, April Bothwell, Sarah-Jane Corry and Maisy Corry, will be among 60 schools from across Ireland competing in nine categories.

At the regional final held in the Lough Neagh Discovery Centre, the girls presented their project - a leaflet of energy saving tips - in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ set-up.

They also completed a creative photo-shoot and composed a special song about energy saving which they had the opportunity to perform for Deputy Mayor of Craigavon Borough, George Savage.

Committee member Aimee-Jo explained how the Eco Club researched energy saving ideas and visited a local wind turbine at Rapid, Tandragee, as well as inviting the public to share their opinions. They chose eight low-cost or free ideas for inclusion in the leaflet such as taking a shower rather than a bath, switching to energy saving lightbulbs and using the oven for more than one item at a time.

Sara-Jo said “The photo-shoot was the best part. We got to dress up for the photos in the leaflet. I was a granny who fills her kettle with only the water needed.”

Helen explained that the leaflets have been distributed to the local community through health centres, libraries and recreation centres.

The school’s eco co-ordinator Mrs Pam Lowry commended the team for their enthusiasm and commitment. She said, “The whole project came from the girls and they have worked tirelessly even when we had to have extra meetings at lunchtimes to complete the project.”

Mullavilly Primary School is an established eco school and is applying for its fourth green flag – the highest award for an eco school. Pupils across the school are involved in a range of projects such as Walk to School week, growing their own vegetables and recycling.