Call for students to submit entries for ‘One Good Idea’ climate-change contest

24 Sep 2013

Last year's winners of the 'One Good Idea' climate change contest.,The Tree of a Kind team. (From left) From left: Megan Freeman, Laura Hennelly McCarthy, Victoria Fitzsimons, Orla McMahon and Erika O'Neill. Image via

A new contest launching today called ‘One Good Idea’ wants second-level students to pool their brain power and come up with collective ideas on how to better inform the public about climate change and energy efficiency. The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) is running the initiative, which will peak with a national final for students in the style of Dragons’ Den.

The ultimate goal of the ‘One Good Idea’ campaign, according to the SEAI, is about helping people make some small lifestyle changes around their use of energy.

The benefits could be twofold – helping households cut down on their energy bills, and also having an environmental impact so as to inform future generations about issues such as climate, finite energy sources such as coal, and topics such as carbon footprint, travel and food footprints.

This will be the sixth year of the contest.

Innovating and using collective brain power!

The SEAI wants the thousands of students around Ireland to be the agents of change for this One Good Idea competition.

A spokesperson from the SEAI said another aim of the project is to increase students’ understanding of energy efficiency and climate change by inviting them to pool together their ideas as a collective.

The over-arching aim is to shine a light on how even one good idea in the area of energy use can make a difference to householders’ pockets, one’s well-being, and ultimately, our planet for future generations.

Dragons’ Den-type arena …

In all, the top 50 teams will be chosen to progress their campaigns. This time around, the national final will include a Dragons’ Den-style adjudication process for the teams who manage to make it to this stage.

SEAI confirmed that the winning teams will win prizes to the tune of “thousands of euro”. These prizes will be doled out to both the students and the schools at a national final that will take place in the Mansion House in Dublin next May.

Last year’s winning team was ‘Tree of a Kind’. The group from Loreto Secondary School, Balbriggan, Co Dublin, was in transition year at the time and won the SEAI contest for an education programme they pioneered. It was all about putting information online in order help primary-school pupils learn about energy efficiency and climate change. This programme is still running on the net.

Aoife Cannon, who works in SEAI’s education programme segment, said that every year the standard gets higher and the presentations more impressive for the One Good Idea project.

Research, design and devise a campaign

This year, students who enter the contest can use events, drama, art, music, film, photography or writing to bring their ideas to life.

To help students along, SEAI will be giving them a project pack, a website with resources, in-school workshops and mentoring.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic