Students combine skills to be part of energy challenge

More than 200 students from Collinstown Park Community College in Clondalkin have been embracing energy efficiency.

The budding energy enthusiasts completed a workshop that was run by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) and a five-day energy efficiency challenge that was organised by Microsoft and SSE Airtricity.

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Students from Collinstown Park Community College in Clondalkin.

Pupils from first and fourth year took part in SEAI workshops, which focused on climate change, sustainability, addressing the causes and global impacts of climate change, and renewable and non-renewable technologies.

The students also took part in a five-day energy efficiency challenge as part of Microsoft’s community engagement programme.

SSE Airtricity, Ireland’s largest generator of 100 per cent green energy, provided the learning materials and practical advice to help drive discussion among the learners.

Each day, transition year students acted as leaders and led discussions on various sustainability topics including: recycling, water conservation, home, technology, and food.

The discussions focused on ways the efficiency enthusiasts could bring energy-efficient tips and tricks into their home and daily lives.

Pupils of Collinstown Park Community College were invited to take part in energy challenges, this included a ‘Power Down Day’ – a 24-hour period where children where challenged to avoid using all technology and social media. Students were also invited to take part in a competition showcasing how they used the tips they learnt during the week to make their lives more energy efficient.

Winners of the competition will be announced at an Energy Efficiency Evening which will be held at 7pm on Thursday, April 4 at Collinstown Park Community College.

Microsoft, who have a strong relationship with the school through their community engagement programme, recently funded a deep retrofit of the school’s energy infrastructure.

The project, which was carried out by SSE Airtricity and granted funding by the SEAI, involved installing 30 solar panels on the roof and upgrading all lighting throughout the campus to high efficiency LED lights. The retrofit resulted in 110,000 kWH of energy savings per year and will cut the school’s annual electricity bill by more than 50 per cent.

Cliona Mohan, Transition Year Head, says: “The Generation Green leaders in transition year really rose to the challenge and managed to engage students from both year groups in the debate about the environmental issues facing us all. Awareness of sustainability and eco issues were reinforced in both Geography and Science classes during the week.

“Many students participated enthusiastically in the competition, combining their artistic skills with their now deeper knowledge of how they could be part of the change rather than part of the problem.”

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