Portstewart pupils are Rolls Royce winners

Pupils from Portstewart Primary and St. Colum's Primary Schools enjoy planting with Belfast in Bloom and Rani Gill.
Pupils from Portstewart Primary and St. Colum's Primary Schools enjoy planting with Belfast in Bloom and Rani Gill.

Two Portstewart primary schools have scooped a top ecology award sponsored by Rolls Royce - and have enjoyed a day out in the tropical ravine of Belfast’s Botanic Gardens as part of their prize.

Portstewart and St Colum’s primary schools won the ecologically focused Eden Project Award outright when they entered their joint STEM project entitled ‘Marvellous Movers’.

The project involved over 460 pupils designing and making their own vehicle from recycled materials and powering them with renewable energy. The mammoth task reached its climax with a public exhibition at Flowerfield Arts Centre in Portstewart.

In addition to the monetary prize, funded by Rolls Royce, the schools won a trip for all 66 of their P7 children to explore and expand their scientific knowledge and skills at

Belfast Botanic Gardens.

Cailín Lynn, Tropical Ravine Activities Officer said: “We are delighted to be invited to host the pupils in celebration of their great wins. Our position here means we can collaborate with the Ulster Museum, Belfast in Bloom and The Nerve Centre to offer a truly inspiring

outing to enrich the children’s knowledge of and interest in the living world through hands on and digital experiences.”

Rani Gill, Rolls-Royce Education Outreach Manager, made the trip from Derby as a special guest.

Ms Louise Gilmore the ‘Marvellous Movers’ project lead from Portstewart Primary School helped to organise the trip; “This trip is the culmination and recognition of all the hard work put in by both schools in the implementation of our joint project. It is fitting that the children from both schools have this opportunity before they leave primary school to reap the benefits of winning and bring more knowledge and enthusiasm for the World Around Us back to school with them.”

Dr Lucy Greene, P7 teacher at St Colum’s and planning team member of the original project,

accompanied her class on the visit. “This is a real treat for our pupils to be able to visit the Tropical Ravine and have it all to themselves. We really appreciate the work that Cailín and her team have put in to making this an interactive experience.”