SIXTH class pupils of Scoil Mhuire National School in Schull won ‘class of the year ‘in this year’s Junior Entrepreneur Programme (JEP).
They were recognised for Birdy Bites, a novel chicken treat containing chilli to repel rodents.
They wanted to solve the problem of rodents stealing the chicken feed and through their research discovered that chickens don’t have spice receptors, but rodents do and hate it.
They experimented with ingredients to create a tasty and nutritious treat which they tested on their clucking customers in the school chicken run!
Birdy Bites were sold in the local hardware shop and at the school’s JEP showcase day. The class had made a profit of €220 at the time of submission and had decided to donate a quarter of the profits to the local hen rescue charity
Johanna Fitzmaurice, class teacher, said that she was immensely proud of what her class had achieved.
‘A lot of people I’ve spoken to can’t believe that children so young can take on a project like this, but primary school children are well able to take on these projects, and they have skills we might not ever realise until they get to take part in something like JEP,’ she said.
Further enhancing the school’s entrepreneurial credentials, teacher Lorraine Whelton’s 6th class successfully launched The Mini Kitchen, a cookbook filled with recipes featuring locally-produced ingredients from West Cork that pupils and their families cooked at home during lockdown. The beautifully designed front cover was the result of an art competition organised by the class within the school.
Principal Mairead Drinan said they were very proud of their hardworking students.
Over 3,500 primary school children began their entrepreneurial journey this year while they were learning remotely, finding out about entrepreneurs and brainstorming ideas over Zoom.
Several other West Cork schools received merits for aspects of their project submissions: 6th Class Bandonbridge National School, Bandon. Chocolate For You. Teacher: Freda O’Neill; 5th and 6th Class Scoil Eoin, Innishannon. Happy Feet. Teacher: Claire Gaynor; 6th Class Scoil na mBuachaillí Clonakilty. Celtic Clash. Teacher: Karen O’Regan; 6th Class St Joseph’s Girls National School, Clonakilty. The Brighter Side. Teacher: Sarah Geaney and 6th Class, Timoleague National School, Timoleague. Blas Thigh Molaige. Teacher: Laura O’Mahony