St. Augustine’s National School in Clontuskert have been named as the winning primary school in the SSE Airtricity and Microsoft Ireland Solar Schools Sustainability Competition.
Launched in 2020, the renewable energy programme enables schools to power classrooms using energy generated from their own roof, helping them to reduce their carbon footprint, and their energy costs. As part of the Schools Sustainability competition, schools from all over the country took part in a three-module course on renewable energy, sustainability, biodiversity, technology and innovation.
Following these modules, project submissions were made demonstrating the efforts of the schools to improve the environment. Clontuskert N.S took first place for its environmental efforts, which saw students install a bug hotel to increase biodiversity, install an environmentally friendly sewage treatment plant, successfully petition to change waste management symbols in Ireland and become the first school in Ireland to receive the Climate Action School of Excellence Award.
A prize-giving ceremony was held at the school recently where a sustainability grant of €2,500 from Microsoft Ireland was awarded to the school, with each participating student also receiving a computer Tablet worth €100.
Speaking on the day, Principal Kate Murray said: “The Solar for Schools Education Programme and Sustainability Project Competition have given Clontuskert students and staff the opportunity to become sustainability champions. Through the focused learning opportunities in the program, our community has collectively become climate changemakers and leaders. Using a growth mindset to focus on our own carbon footprint, along with renewable energy and conservation, empowered us to take action and make positive changes.”
Following the prize giving, Fergal Ahern, Head of Business Development, SSE Airtricity stated: “The students of St Augustine’s National School, Clontuskert have demonstrated great intent and passion for sustainability, showing us first-hand how sustainability and renewable energy can combine to help fight climate change while also benefitting their school and community on a daily basis.”
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