Irish students come first in the world for their award winning LED lightbulb!
Clonakilty, Sacred Heart Secondary School students pick up top prize at international awards for their research into LED street lights –
Friday 5th June, 2015 – Ellen Fitzgerald, Aoife Dolan and Niamh Nyhan, three students from Sacred Heart Secondary School, Clonakilty, Cork, represented Ireland at the 7th annual International Environment and Sustainability Project Olympiad (INESPO) held in Amsterdam on Monday 1st June until Friday 5th June. Having won the SEAI sponsored INESPO Award at the SciFest@SFIDiscover national final in November 2014, the students saw off competition from 47 other countries to claim the number one spot at the INESPO international final 2015.
Their project focussed on the issue of energy efficiency and energy usage in street lighting. They discovered that there are an estimated 400,000 street lights in Ireland and the cost of street lighting throughout the country is on average €40m per annum. Realising that LED bulbs are much more energy efficient that the bulbs currently used in street lamps they set out to design an LED bulb that could be screwed directly into the standard street lamp fitting. As well as being more energy efficient, the LED bulb has a much longer life expectancy, thus cutting down on checking and replacement costs.
Sheila Porter, SciFest CEO, said: “The students really developed their project since their win at SciFest 2014 and it shows that when students engage with STEM outside the classroom, they bring their learning to a new level and produce amazing results. Ellen, Aoife and Niamh have done Ireland proud and with the cost savings that can be made by using their LED lightbulbs there is a great opportunity for us all to be more aware of the energy we use in our homes or businesses.”
Congratulating the students on their win, Aoife Cannon, Education Programme Executive, SEAI said: “The standard of projects at INESPO 2015 was extremely high and SEAI is so proud of Ellen, Aoife and Niamh’s achievement. They represented Ireland at the highest level and won! Their LED lightbulb is such a clever idea, and highlights how their generation is already thinking about ways of becoming more energy efficient and I am sure that they will help to positively shape Ireland’s sustainable energy future.”