Transition Year students from Maria Immaculata College Dunmanway claimed a first place Special Merit award at the National Student Enterprise Awards held on Wednesday last, April 20th in Croke Park. The four member Citosc team (Ryan Croke, Conrad Crowley, Paraig Galvin and Peter Deane) produced a Virtual Reality headset, "The Virtualis" which uses the power of a smartphone to provide an affordable virtual reality experience.
The students made the headlines last week in the run up to the finals with their viral video of Ryan's grand-aunt Ettie Carroll using the VR headset. The Dunmanway woman had us all laughing at her reaction to a virtual reality rollercoaster which has been viewed almost 55,00 times. The Southern Star was first to pick the story up and it has since been shared all over the world with the boys being approached by a number of international news outlets to air their video.
Organised by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices, a record-breaking 22,000 students from 620 schools set-up and managed real-life businesses as part of the biggest student enterprise programme in the country. Through their involvement, students learned important business skills, gaining real-world experience and developing their commercial instincts.
Speaking of the award, Kevin Curran, Acting Head of Enterprise with the Local Enterprise Office West Cork said, " We are thrilled for the Dunmanway pupils and are extremely proud of them. This is the third time in three years that West Cork Students have achieved a top prize in these extremely competitive awards, so is a huge boost to the region. This year's competition was also the toughest the judges had ever seen so it is extremely encouraging that we have such fantastic budding entrepreneurs in our midst. The future is definitely bright for enterprise in West Cork!”
Also speaking of the final event, Christine Duggan, Schools Programme Co-Ordinator for West Cork said “The Dunmanway students are a really special team and we were so fortunate to have them representing us with the guidance of their teacher Claire Kelly. Maria Immaculata College is an extremely progressive school and this can be seen clearly from the drive and motivation that each of these students have. The boys worked hard to prepare for the final and to come away with a national prize is a fantastic achievement. I would also like to congratulate our St. Brogan's team and their teacher Miss. Shaughnessy from Bandon who also represented West Cork extremely well."
The four Dunmanway students were also among just 20 students to be offered the opportunity to attend a Business Bootcamp, organised by the Local Enterprise Office which will take place in University College Cork in June.
Paraig Galvin, Conrad Crowley, Peter Deane and Ryan Croke pictured with their VR headsets in Croke Park last week for the Student Enterprise Finals. Photocredit: Mark Stedman, Photocall Ireland.