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Beara students get funding for inspiring innovators project

March 18th, 2023 9:30 AM

By Southern Star Team

Beara students get funding for inspiring innovators project Image
Pitching their idea in the ‘Dragon’s Den’ – Alanna Elphick, Eva O’Donovan and Aisling Murphy.

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A GROUP of transition year students from Scoil Phobail Bhéara in Castletownbere have successfully pitched their project on the importance of young people having positive role models in their lives to a panel of judges in the Dragon’s Den segment of the 2023 Young Social Innovators programme. 

The Castletownbere group were one of 29 schools in Ireland who had been selected to pitch their project and the only school in West Cork.   

The transition year students launched their project in late 2022 which aims to highlight and educate people on the benefits of young people having a positive role model in their lives. The group of 32 students from Scoil Phobail Bhéara were represented in the Dragon’s Den stage by Eva O’Donovan, Aisling Murphy and Alanna Elphick, who presented the group’s proposal to build an interactive Inspire Wall in the school, which will feature local, national and international role models. The group was awarded €1,000 to implement the project.

Young Social Innovators is a non-profit organisation which empowers young people to use their talents and creativity to devise innovative solutions to social challenges.

 Marie Murphy, the school chaplain, who is overseeing the project, outlined how the students currently have a paper version of an Inspire Wall at the school and that the award will allow them to develop the technology to upgrade this into an interactive board, with QR codes to allow people to discover additional information on each of the role models featured. 

In addition to the Inspire Wall, the group is also compiling a children’s story book on role models and will produce a primary school pack for teachers with lesson plans on the theme of role models featuring activities across all subjects on the primary school curriculum.  The pack will also include a My Hero workbook which Ms Murphy says will encourage young children ‘to dream big, raise the bar and realise all that they can achieve.’

The students are also designing a board game based on the qualities they feel make a good role model, and as a means to encourage people to interact with each other, as opposed to being online.

The Castletownbere group will now participate in the next stage of the Young Social Innovators programme, a Speak Out event at Cork City Hall on March 8th where the group will present their project and findings to their peers, and invited guests. 

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