Shannon-Foynes Port Company COMPASS Project 2017
In September 2016, four transition year students from Deirdre 4 and the class of Fionn 4 began work on the Shannon Foynes Port Company’s COMPASS competition for 2016/2017, which took place in schools all over Ireland. The students were briefed about the project by Evelyn Adams and Hugh Conlon of Shannon Foynes Port Company, and thus began the start of the competition.
The students were told about this year’s title for the project, which was “Great Ships Need Deep Water”. The point of the project was to choose an undeveloped port zoned for development along the Shannon estuary and to create a unique idea for the development of this port. Each of the teams was equipped with an information pack, containing all the information about each port and the Shannon Foynes Port Company itself. After that, the teams each chose one port which they wanted to develop and started to brainstorm ideas.
The hard work soon began for all teams involved, developing their ideas and documenting all the work. On the 17th of October, the team at Shannon Foynes very kindly invited all of the transition year teams out to Foynes in order to receive a tour of the port itself. The teams also gave a brief description of the direction that their projects were going in. Afterwards, Hugh and Evelyn very generously brought the teams to the Shannon Foynes maritime boat museum for some lunch.
In November, the first stage of the competition came to a close, which meant that the teams from all over Ireland had to submit their projects for assessment, which was worth 40% of the final scores. After this, the finalists would be announced.
In December, just before Christmas time, the school received word that the team of students from Deirdre 4 had made it to the final with their project: “EcoPort Ireland: A Futuristic View”. The team consisted of four girls, Emma McDonnell, Andrea Crockett, Anna Madigan and Mary Haugh. The girls had advanced to the final, making the cut as the final six out of fifty-one schools in Ireland.
When school began in the New Year, the hard work well and truly began. The girls decided to create a website for their project, (www.useyourspace/deepwater) where their project can still be viewed. There, the girls began further production and development of their idea for EcoPort Ireland. On January 10th, the girls attended a presentation skills workshop held by Áine Barry in the Clayton hotel, in preparation for the competition final held in February. The girls learned many very valuable skills not only just for the presentation, but for any presentation they will make for the rest of their lives. At the presentation skills workshop, the girls decided to recruit two more members onto the team, which proved to be a very valuable asset.
At the beginning of February, the final submission of the project was to be made for a further 40% grade to be assessed. Thereafter, the girls had to finalise and polish their presentation for the final, which was to be held on February 10th.
When the day came, the girls headed out to the Shannon Foynes Maritime Boat Museum, where the class of Fionn 4 were in attendance to cheer the girls on. The girls presented their project to the six judges, which was the final 20% to be allocated for the project’s final grade. All of the teams’ project were of an impeccable standard and the judges had to make a very hard decision. The overall winners were Salesian’s College Copsewood, Pallaskenry.
The girls put in a huge amount of work into the project and learned many new skills along the way. They are hugely grateful of the opportunity and would recommend the project to any TY’s in the future.
By Andrea Crockett, Deirdre 4.