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European Energy Savings Awards for Second Level Schools

European Energy Savings Awards for Second Level Schools

Published on: Monday, 04 October 2010

photo by John Sheehan
Minister for Enterprise, Trade & Innovation presents prizes to winning schools and students at Bord Gáis sponsored awards.

On the 4th October, CIT hosted the Irish round of the European Energy Saving Awards, which were presented by the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, Batt O'Keeffe, TD. The Bord Gáis sponsored awards are part of the Intelligent Use of Energy At School initiative (IUSES).

The prize-winners, and their teachers from the nine winning second-levl schools throughout Ireland, were joined by Lord Mayor of Cork City,
Councillor Michael O'Connell, Cork County Mayor, Councillor Jim Daly, CIT President Dr Brendan Murphy, John Mullins, Chief Executive of Bord Gáis, Noel Duffy from the Clean Technology Centre, CIT, as well as other dignitaries, CIT staff and Governors, and invited guests from the areas of education and energy. The Clean Technology Centre at CIT coordinates the competition for Ireland with the support of the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme, in association with Sustainable Energy Europe.

The European Energy Saving Award (EESA) is part of the IUSES project, and recognises schools and students that are enthusiastic and active in bringing about reduced energy consumption and who can demonstrate how simple changes can make a difference. The IUSES 2009/10 project is an educational programme that aims to show secondary school students the basic principles of energy efficiency and give a comprehensive guide to saving energy in their everyday lives via an interactive educational and experimental programme.

The Award comprises three categories: Schools; Individual or Groups of Students; and Videos/Multimedia (individual and/or group).

In all, nine prizes were awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd placing in each category. In an excellent and very competitive contest, the students and schools in each grouping showed great understanding and knowledge of energy issues in their schools and homes and have achieved impressive energy savings through a wide range of wholehearted activities. Through measuring and managing their energy usage and developing programmes for efficiency, awareness raising and behavioural change, these schools and their students have led the way for the second level educational sector in Ireland, showing how we can better meet future energy needs and also develop a cleaner greener economy. In the video/multimedia category, the students also showed great technical skill and artistic flair to produce effective, interesting and stimulating videos and music presenting the merits of energy efficiency and proving that being green can also be cool.

The overall European competition consists of two qualifying rounds: national winners where for each category, three outright winners are selected in every participating country; and European winners, where the winner of each category from all 14 participating countries will compete for the European Award in Trieste, Italy in November 2010. The leading Irish winners in each of the categories will compete for those prizes.

The details of the winning schools and students are as follows:

Schools Category:

1st Prize - Scoil Mhuire gan Smál, Blarney, Co. Cork
2nd Prize - Ursuline Secondary School, Blackrock, Cork
3rd Prize - Scoil Ruain, Killenaule, Co. Tipperary

Students Category:

1st Prize - The students of St. Patrick's College, (Lacken Cross, Killala, Co. Mayo)
2nd Prize - Eadaoin Connolly and Laura Fitzsimons (Ard Scoil Rath Iomghain, Rathangan, Co. Kildare)
3rd Prize - Elizabeth O'Carroll (Presentation Secondary School, Listowel, Co. Kerry)

Multimedia Category:

1st Prize - Karimah Gambo (St. Josephs College, Lucan, Co. Dublin)
2nd Prize - Evelyn Finnerty (Scoil Mhuire gan Smál, Blarney, Co. Cork)
3rd Prize - Rebecca Gallagher and Lauren Mountford (Ard Scoil Rath Iomghain, Rathangan, Co. Kildare)

The Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, Batt O'Keeffe TD, congratulated the national winners. "Last September, I launched this initiative and I am delighted that the first national winners have emerged with innovative approaches to energy conservation. These awards have stirred a new consciousness of environmental issues by engaging students in energy-saving activities using a hands-on and real-world approach. The Intelligent Energy Europe Programme is leading an agenda of behavioural change in schools and in the wider community. Energy sustainability is key to our future.

A key component of the prosperity we are now working to capture is security of energy supply and these awards encourage better energy efficiency practices and a greener approach to our everyday lives. I wish all nine winners every success as they go on to the European stage of the awards held in Italy later this year," said Minister O'Keeffe.

In Ireland, the IUSES project and EESA competition are coordinated by the Clean Technology CIT, with the support of the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme and in association with Sustainable Energy Europe.

IUSES has also developed a behaviour-oriented educational kit, supported by the Intelligent Energy Europe programme and sponsored in Ireland by Bord Gáis, which includes: handbooks, multimedia animations and an extensive experiment tool-kit. The educational kit was made available to participating second-level schools and teachers and engaged students in all stages of the project. As part of the project, many teachers from all over Ireland were also trained by the Clean Technology Centre in a series of in-service training days on usage of the materials, the awards and on energy issues at school, at home, in transport and in industry.

Further details on IUSES and the EESA awards are available on or from the Clean Technology Centre, CIT at 021 4344864 or email

Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, Batt O'Keeffe TD pictured with representitives of winning schools in the National winners in the European Energy Savings Award sponsored by Bord Gais at CIT. Included are, Karimah Gambo, St. Josephs College, Lucan, Rachel Munnelly, St. Patricks Killala, Aoife Murphy, Ardscoil Rath Iomghain, Rathangan, Neasa Murphy, Ursuline Secondary School, Cork, Elizabeth O'Carroll, Presentation Secondary School, Listowel and Evelyn Finnerty, Scoil Mhuire Gan Smal, Blarney. Also included are, Cork County Mayor, Cllr. Jim Daly, John Mullins, Chief Executive, Bord Gais, Dr. Brendan Murphy, President CIT and Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Michael O'Connell.

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