Light Bulb Moment: Cork students envisage switching to a sustainable future with new school mural

Students from 4th and 5th class at South Abbey National School, Youghal, Co Cork have created a Green Energy mural for their school with the help of artists from the Walls Project. The mural is the prize for the winning class of a Green Energy Art Competition organised by STEAM Education and supported by renewable energy companies DP Energy and Iberdrola as part of their community engagement for the Inis Ealga Marine Energy Park project.

The competition was the culmination of STEAM Education, DP Energy and Iberdrola’s partnership on a Green Energy and Climate Action Education Programme, which saw over 500 students along the south coast in the vicinity of the proposed Inis Ealga Marine Energy Park learn about climate change and engineering. Participating pupils were asked to create their vision of a “seascape of the future” with a focus on renewable energy. The winner, Vito Beganovic, received a school mural inspired by his entry, and a €50 One4all voucher.

The Green Energy & Climate Action Education Programmes has engaged 4th to 6th class students in approximately 20 local schools along the South Coast and East Coast with some of the most pressing issues facing the world today. Through a range of participatory activities and creative and scientific processes, the children are supported to understand the key issues about the Climate Crisis and encouraged to engage in positive climate action in their schools, homes and wider communities.

The Walls Project, creators of the Waterford Walls initiative, were commissioned to create the mural inspired by Vito’s entry. Artists Aisling Corcoran and Fiona Brady spent the day with the 4th and 5th class students, showing them how to use spray paints and stencils to create the impressive display for their school.

Another mural was painted earlier in June in St Mary’s National School Ballygarrett, Wexford, inspired by East Coast winner Kate Smith’s entry.

The Walls Project creates and delivers large- and small-scale public art projects which transform and regenerate urban and rural spaces and connect communities through art. Bloom | The Art Project was founded by Aisling Corcoran and Frances Brady after discovering their shared vision to bring joy and happiness to people and communities through art.

Sinead Griffin, 4th & 5th class teacher at South Abbey National School, Youghal, Co Cork said that “It was such a wonderful opportunity for the children to take part in our mural painting at our school. The artists were so kind and wonderful to the children. The children thoroughly enjoyed the process and really feel as though the mural is theirs. I cannot thank STEAM-Ed, DP Energy and Iberdrola enough for the amazing work that they have done with us and our school is a brighter, more colourful place because of them!”

Alice D’Arcy, Managing Director of STEAM Education said “the high standard of entries to the competition reflects the creativity and ingenuity of children that we see time and again in our classes. We selected Vito Beganovic as our South Coast winner for his detailed depiction of offshore wind energy, incorporating engineering and artistic elements which are central to our Climate Action programme.

DP Energy Community Liaison Officer Lisa Enright said that “we are delighted to have the opportunity to support education programmes that get children thinking about key issues like renewable energy and sustainability. Creative initiatives like this one are so important to get kids imagining what a sustainable future could look like and how they can help create it.” 

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