EPA and UCD partner for schools environmental competition

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and University College Dublin (UCD) are partnering for the third year of an environmental competition for secondary school students.

The competition, entitled ‘The Story of Your Stuff’, will see second-level students investigate the life cycle of an item they use everyday, and tell the ‘story’ of that item in a visually artistic and appealing way.

The national final of the competition will be held at the O’Brien Centre for Science at UCD on April 9, where the winning students will receive their prizes.

The prize for the winning student or students will be €500, as well as an additional €500 for their school. The closing date for entries is March 8, and the EPA is encouraging students to use its website: www.IrelandsEnvironment.ie to research their project.

“This is the first time that we have organised a national finale event for this competition, now in its third year. We are delighted to be working with UCD in organising the event, and to have environmental scientist Dr. Tara Shine come on board as competition ambassador,” said Colette Ryan from the EPA.

Competition ambassador Dr. Shine is a scientist, entrepreneur and science communicator with over 20 years’ experience, and who has recently returned from work in Antarctica.

Dr. Shine said: “Close to half of the world’s population today is under the age of 25. These young people face a future affected by climate change and biodiversity loss that is not of their making, and they are a powerful force for change in our world today, through their own actions and the influence on their families.”

Competition applicants can use a visual medium of their choice to present their story, which can incorporate video, animation, drawings and photography.

Prof. Tasman Crowe, director of UCD’s Earth Institute, said the competition will “encourage and empower young people to make positive environmentally-conscious decisions. We’re looking forward to welcoming some of Ireland’s brightest young minds to UCD for the finale, and to seeing the final projects”.

“The finalists will be given special insight into the innovative research projects taking place on campus before having their own projects showcased,” he added.