A GROUP of students from Beara Community School have been shortlisted for a Young Social Innovator award for their project on the overuse of technology.
A total of 31 teams of student innovators from all over Ireland have been shortlisted to compete for the title of Young Social Innovators of the Year at a national final to be held in Croke Park on Wednesday, May 15th.
The high impact innovations, developed by young people to address an identified social need, were shortlisted from over 370 initial entries.
The Beara school, whose project is called ‘Virtually Connected-Socially Disconnected,’ and looks at digital addiction and aims to educate people on responsible use of digital technology.
‘We want people to live with technology not through technology. We want to help to establish a digital well-being culture, promote digital health, develop education and awareness raising material using various mediums and challenging society and the government to look at realising the importance of promoting digital wellbeing, providing treatment for those with digital addictions and rewarding agencies/companies/employers who promote digital well-being in their workplaces, among employees and provide opportunities for staff to partake in same,’ the students said.
They added: ‘We want to educate people on digital addiction, ways to prevent it, promote responsible use of technology and educate parents and teachers on strategies for dealing with children and teenagers and their use of technology.
Beara is one of only two Cork finalists – the other is Mount Mercy College, Cork city.
Youth mental health, climate change, plastic pollution, sexual consent, dementia awareness, community regeneration, loneliness and isolation, and technology addiction are just some of the issues that have been tackled by this year’s finalists.
At the awards, shortlisted teams will present their projects to judging panels and compete for awards in a number of categories as well as the coveted gold, silver and bronze national titles.
Concerned about the serious effects of the over-use of technology, the team from Beara Community School developed a wide range of informational and educational materials for various groups including young people and parents focussed on the appropriate use and management of technology.
Over 6,000 teenagers from all over Ireland took part in Young Social Innovators this year creating and implementing innovative solutions to social issues facing communities and wider society.
For more, see www.youngsocialinnovators.ie.