CORK students have won at the national creative thinking programme ‘The Big Idea’.
LCA 1 class at Scoil Bernadette in Montonotte won the Climate Change category at the Big Idea competition on Friday with their Eco Activist project, which focused on the idea of a wildflower garden at the school, which is a safe space for students and bees.
Their teacher Christina Hayes came across the Big Idea project and knew she had “the perfect bunch” in her class to enter.
“The project is designed to help young people develop their critical thinking, collaboration and communication skills, and I thought, I have the perfect bunch for this. I knew that they would do a really good job, so I ran it by them and they were totally up for it.”
The premise of the competition is for the participants to work together and come up with a solution to a problem.
The Scoil Bernadette team were drawn to climate change, as well as the mental health aspect of the project.
The class created an entry video which highlighted the steps they followed to create a safe space for their ‘hero — Brian the Bee’.
The project required the participants to create a ‘hero’ that will be the main focus of the ‘Big Idea’.
Brian the Bee was voiced by Darragh Daly from Frankfield, who was elated with his role.
“I was the voice of the bee because I’m very good at saying ‘bee’, said Darragh. “I’m very proud to have won.”
The research team consisted of Shane Mulroy, Caoimhe McCarthy, and James O’Donnell. The trio collected facts and figures about bees.
During their research, James found out that there are over 99 different species of bees in the world, and we all need to do our bit to keep them alive and well.
Sophie Looney, from Mayfield, sketched a plan for the garden as well as creating a stunning bee drawing in the classroom.
“It was great to win, and I did not expect it. It was a shock,” she added.
Charlie Hurley, David Donovan, and Mary-Kate Drake McPartlain were the gardeners. The trio removed a bush and prepared the soil for planting.
David reckons he could forge a career in landscaping in the future.
“I helped to fix the dead hedge out in the garden. I think I’d be very good at the old landscaping. I was absolutely thrilled when we won,” David said.
Christine O’Brien and Alan Buckley were busy bees back in the hive as they oversaw the networking. The duo made sure that the plan was working seamlessly.
Their colleagues helped the role leaders throughout the project.
Speaking about their incredible win, Christina said:
“I’m actually in shock, I suppose for me the process is obviously more important than winning but it is also just a huge validation of their hard work and you could see they were in shock and they were overjoyed, and it’s a real boost for their self-esteem.
“I am so proud of them and what they’ve achieved, I always knew they were a creative bunch anyway, but this is just taken to the next level and we’ve never participated before as a school, so I’m just absolutely thrilled so proud of them.”
The flowers should be in bloom when the class return in September.
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