Lunar Takes the Prize

2nd August 2018

Posted In: So In Demand

Lunar – a charity that tackles the impact of menstruation on access to education in developing nations – has been declared the winning project at the STEAM+ICE Final Pitch Event at Trinity College Dublin.

Jamie Righini (15) from Nenagh, Tipperary; and Nathan Donovan (15) and Emma D’Arcy (15), both from Greystones, County Wicklow, developed Lunar to support girls in developing countries, who can miss on average five days of school per month, due to lack of access to sanitary products. Lunar is a not-for-profit, subscription ‘pamper box’ service, where a reusable menstrual cup is donated to a girl in a developing country, for each box of cosmetics and pamper products sold to the consumer.

Lunar was developed at STEAM+ICE; a week-long incubator where young people learn STEAM (science, technology, arts, engineering and maths) and ICE (innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship) skills, through a series of workshops.

STEAM+ICE is being run collaboratively by: Trinity Walton Club; Tangent, Trinity’s Ideas Workspace; Fighting Words and Bank of Ireland. The incubator was supported by the Higher Education Authority.

The nine other finalists competing at the STEAM+ICE Final Pitch Event were:

  • Hexahomes: an initiative that is taking on the Dublin housing crisis with innovative living in smaller spaces;
  • Perfect Pop: Increasing the efficiency of popcorn air poppers;
  • Zero Waste: Weigh It and Pay It: Improved recycling facilities, to prevent ocean pollution;
  • Spark Watch Tech enabled early prevention for wildfires;
  • Unimerse: Tackles misdiagnosed gaming disorder through education of risks and benefits of video games;
  • Easy Edu: A tech platform to address the refugee crisis in Ireland;
  • Unify: Shooter-proofing schools via peer support;
  • Motiv8: An app to diagnose, assess and treat procrastination; and
  • Dubán: Innovative equipment to reduce injuries to rugby players of all ages.

Commenting on the winning team, Director of Trinity Walton Club and Assistant Professor in Physics, Dr. Arlene Gallagher said: “I’m delighted for the Lunar team and for all the other teams whose scientific, creative and entrepreneurial spirits have been awoken as a result of this experience. It’s just the beginning for these highly creative students, and they are all truly winners!

“We’ve had over 1,000 young people attend Trinity Walton Club since we first started four years ago. It has been a privilege to work alongside such creative and inspirational young minds. We are currently recruiting for our club programme and we would encourage second-level students with a curiosity in science, technology, engineering and maths to get in touch.”

Each of the ten teams have developed their innovation, pitch and presentation over the course of the past week and competed in front of an audience of experts, peers and judges. The judging panel for the STEAM+ICE Final Pitch Event were:

  • David Tighe, Head of Innovation, Bank of Ireland;
  • Fionnuala Healy, CEO, Tangent, Trinity’s Ideas Workspace;
  • Dr. Arlene Gallagher, Director, Trinity Walton Club.

Fionnuala Healy, CEO of Tangent, Trinity’s Ideas Workspacee added: “This year we challenged ourselves to develop a programme that built on Trinity Walton Club’s work while adding Fighting Words to offer secondary students a multi-disciplinary experience that inspired, challenged, and provoked a creative mindset among our participants. The students embraced the creative fusion that happens when arts meet science and collaborated to experience alternative ways of thinking to create new possibilities that address complex challenges.

Dave Tighe, Head of Innovation, Bank of Ireland notes that: “A unique programme like this represents a leading example of Ireland’s emerging STEM educational future.  Bank of Ireland is proud to support such a diverse and inclusive community of learners, educators, curriculum developers and industry expertise all coming together in the name of discovery and innovation in STEM learning. It cannot be underestimated how Ireland’s continued achievement in science and technology is bolstered through support for programmes like this.”

“Fighting Words is delighted to be involved with STEAM + ICE, Tangent, Trinity’s Ideas Workspace and Trinity Walton Club” adds Sara Bennett, General Manager of Fighting Words. “It has provided an opportunity for young people who come to Fighting Words with a different and exciting platform for their creativity. As with Fighting Words programmes, STEAM + ICE is not prescriptive with regard to ideas but rather provides a framework for participants to apply their imaginations and develop their own ideas.”

For further information about Trinity Walton Club visit here>>

Pictured (L-R): Fionnuala Healy, CEO, Tangent, Trinity’s Ideas Workspace;Dr. Arlene Gallagher, Director, Trinity Walton Club; Nathan Donovan (15) from Greystones, County Wicklow;Emma D’Arcy (15) from Greystones, County Wicklow;Jamie Righini (15) from Nenagh, County Tipperary; andDavid Tighe, Head of Innovation, Bank of Ireland.