Mary-Kate wins NI energy competition with her eco-villain

A schoolgirl from St Colum’s Primary School in Portstewart has won a NI-wide competition by creating an eco-villain!

A total of 1,700 children competed to design a sinister gang of five eco-villains in a Housing Executive energy awareness competition.

The 2022 competition was organised by the Housing Executive in partnership with Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, Eco-Schools NI and was open to primary, post primary and special education schools.

Primary 3 to Year 9 pupils were asked to draw a picture or write a short story describing their villain and their superpowers to help highlight issues such as energy efficiency in the home and school, renewable energy and climate change.

Mary Kate from St Colum's PS

As part of the prize, the five winning designs were brought to life by a local illustrator. The winners received a new eco laptop plus £500 for their school.

Topics highlighted in the designs were energy efficiency, water, renewable energy versus fossil fuels, climate change and global perspectives.

Mary Kate, from St Colum’s Primary School, Portstewart, won the energy efficiency category. Her devious eco-villain can make oil spills appear simply by clicking his fingers. A press of his necklace and you become a greenhouse gas. He can float, fly or turn into a car so he can emit more emissions, and his footprints are made from coal - a literal carbon footprint.

Judge and former Housing Executive Chair Professor Peter Roberts said: “In 2021 we asked pupils to design five eco-heroes and the results were fantastic. For 2022, we thought we would turn the tables and ask our budding young eco-warriors to create a villain instead. We were very impressed with the standard of entries.”

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