Limerick students have Big Ideas to tackle social issues

Students from Desmond College, Newcastle West. Photo: Ruth Medjbe

STUDENTS in four Limerick schools have taken part in an award-winning education programme to encourage creative thinking.

Pupils from Desmond College (Newcastle West), Coláiste Iósaef Community College (Kilmallock), John the Baptist Community School (Hospital), and Colaiste Na Trocaire (Rathkeale) have all taken part in The Big Idea, aimed at fostering creative thinking in young people.

The programme allows students with all learning abilities to gain new skills, gain advice from industry leaders, connect learning from other subjects, and gain confidence in tackling the biggest challenges in the world, skills that will stand to them when they enter the world of work.

The Big Idea is open to 15 to 19 year olds in transition year, Leaving Certificate Applied, and Youthreach in schools all over Ireland and sees students submitting hundreds of creative solutions to some of Ireland’s biggest social issues. 

Kim Mackenzie-Doyle, CEO of The Big Idea, says that taking part in the programme equips secondary school students with the creative thinking skills that are so in demand in the workplace.

Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter

The world is changing at an unprecedented rate and the education system and our young people (our future) are at risk of being completely left behind,” she said.

“We need to think differently. The Big Idea is more than just an educational programme, it’s a movement to democratise creative thinking.”

“Our young people have a tough future ahead of them, inheriting some of the biggest problems our world has ever faced. We want to empower our next generation to take on big challenges, because we know one Big Idea can change our world,” she concluded.

Nationwide, 41 per cent of teens wanted to focus on creating a proposal to support mental health, while 27 per cent chose to develop solutions to combat climate change. 

Hidden poverty was a concern for 13 per cent of learners, displaced people were on the minds of 11 per cent and 8 per cent of the teenagers wanted to tackle diversity and inclusion.