Offaly schools clean up in Cool Awards

The ninth Cooperation is Cool Awards ceremony took place in Laois Education Centre recently and Offaly schools were much to the fore winning three awards and being Highly Commended for others.

The ninth Cooperation is Cool Awards ceremony took place in Laois Education Centre recently and Offaly schools were much to the fore winning three awards and being Highly Commended for others.

The event, which was attended by almost 200 people, was the culmination of many weeks and months work for many schools in the catchment area of the Centre, which includes schools based in Laois, Offaly and North Tipperary.

The Cooperation is Cool project is based on the Cooperative Model and has its origins in the book by Teddy Fennelly, ‘A Triumph of Co-operation over Adversity’. It focuses on the knowledge that young people have around co-operation and the history of the co-operative movement and its importance in Ireland.

Primary, Post Primary and Special Schools are invited each year to submit a project which demonstrates strong elements of cooperation but must also have an ICT component. This year, 212 pupils from nine primary and two post primary schools exhibited 13 projects and the result of their work was evaluated in Laois Education Centre.

The pupils have been supported by their teachers, the curriculum resource materials prepared by Paddy Bates of Laois Education Centre, parents and their local community in preparing their projects.

In addition to Glanbia who has supported this project since its inception, ICOS (Irish Co-operative Organisation Society Ltd) and NIS (Network Infrastructure Systems (NIS) Rahan, Tullamore have provided very valuable sponsorship for the third consecutive year.

The overall prize of an Epson Visualisor was presented by Michael Igoe of Glanbia to Tullamore College for their project Energy Efficient Boardgames ‘Good Green Fun’.

The best new entry prize was sponsored and presented by Gerry Buckley, (one of the main sponsors) Director of NIS, Rahan, Tullamore, to St Pius NS Ballacolla, Co Laois for their project on Aghaboe Abbey.

Gerry commented, “NIS was delighted to be involved in a creative project and was delighted that as a company providing ICT services not only in the midlands area but nationwide as well, that they were in a position to give something back to the school community that has supported NIS for many years. Gerry commented on the very high standard and commended the staff of Laois Education Centre for their work in this project.”

He complimented all involved and commented on the excellence of the projects this year. Gerry went on to say that the skills learned by the students in this programme will never be forgotten, even if not used for a number of years. Gerry, who was Chairman of the Adjudicating Panel, also congratulated the teachers, pupils and parents on their wonderful creative work and spoke of the judges’ incredibly difficult job in ranking the projects as each and every project was excellent and were all winners in their own right.

There were many other prizes presented on the night which included Netbooks, Digital Cameras, Kindles, portable Hard Drives and Memory Keys and these were presented by members of the adjudication panel.

Offaly winners

1st prize – Tullamore College for ‘Energy Efficient Boardgames ‘Good Green Fun’; 2nd prize – St Joseph’s PS, Tullamore for Community Singing ‘The Melody Makers; 3rd prize - St Kieran’s NS, Broughall for Our Virtual Science World. Highly Commended Primarys Coolderry NS.

See this week’s Offaly Express for more photographic coverage. On sale on Tuesday’s