SIX secondary school students from Cork travelled to Toulouse last week to join a group of 70 other European teenagers taking part in a European Student Parliament.
The six were selected after participating in a local Cork parliament, which is funded and organised by Cork Institute of Technology. The chosen pupils, three boys and three girls, were Sarah Ryan-Purcell (Scoil Mhuire Cork), Clementine Kamekpo (St Aloysius College Carrigtwohill), Olivia Twomey (St Aloysius College Carrigtwohill), Alex Sheehan (Christian Brothers College), James Collins-O’Brien (St Brogan’s College Bandon) and Joshua Cantwell (Coláiste an Phiarsaigh Glanmire).
The topic for the parliament was ‘The Future of Mobility’ and the young people developed resolutions on how European politics should respond to mobility issues. The delegates focused on autonomous vehicles, carbon-neutral transport, mobility in the city, neo-nomads and digital natives, and aviation and space flight.
They presented their resolutions at a plenary debate at the Conseil Départemental de la Haute Garonne. European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Mr Carlos Moedas, accepted the resolutions formally from two students representing the Parliament, one of whom was Cork’s Alex Sheehan.
The students also attended a science slam as part of the Science in the City programme. Accompanying the Cork students were CIT head of research Dr Niall Smith, EUSP project lead Elizabeth Carroll-Twomey and entrepreneur and PhD student, Wendy Oke, who had been selected as a EUSP final moderator.
“It was an amazing event, and I think the six young participants from Cork enjoyed the experience very much,” Dr Smith said.
“They did themselves proud with their parliamentary skills and ability to take advice from experts and convert it, along with their own thoughts, into strong resolutions around the theme of The Future of Mobility in the City.”