Orlaith Heaney

Mayo farmers of the future create sustainability website

MAYO students Orlaith Heaney (15) and Elizabeth Byrne (15), of Mount St. Michael, Claremorris, have developed a one-stop-shop website to help make farming more sustainable.

Orlaith and Elizabeth’s website, https://thegoodnessguide.weebly.com/, was entered at SciFest 2021, a national competition promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

Explaining their project, Orlaith and Elizabeth, who both coming from farming backgrounds, said: “Our project is a website that will help farmers make their farm more sustainable without the hassle of going through loads of other websites and documents.

“As part of our project, we surveyed 10 farmers in Co. Mayo. We found that farmers do care about climate change, but that it is hard to find reliable information in one place.

“In doing this project we found there are many ways to improve sustainability in farming, from simple changes like collecting rain water, to more complicated changes like installing wind turbines or solar panels to power a farm.”

Elizabeth Byrne

In order to learn how to develop a website from scratch, Elizabeth and Orlaith worked with Teen-Turn’s Project Squad.

Project Squad is a 12-week after school programme that partners girls with a mentor, who supports them to bring their science idea to life. Before working with Teen-Turn Elizabeth and Orlaith had never created a website and had no idea how to go about getting started.

The Goodness Guide was one of 27 projects competing from Teen-Turn at SciFest in 2021.

Elizabeth and Orlaith would encourage other girls to get involved in Teen-Turn to learn about STEM and to get the chance to take part in SciFest:

They said: “We gained a great understanding of how to build a website and learned that research is a very important part of any project. Hard work pays off!”

Orlaith and Elizabeth are still working with Teen-Turn and are now developing an app for the Goodness Guide.