Students' 'pamper box' will fight period product poverty
A group of inspired secondary school students managed to find potential solutions to wildfires, period poverty, and the homeless crisis within five days.
Over 40 teenagers had to devise and pitch innovations tackling local and global issues at the STEAM+ICE "innovation incubator" in Dublin yesterday.
The top prize went to Lunar who developed a way of tackling period poverty. In the majority of the world, sanitary products women use during their menstrual cycle are considered a luxury item and are taxed accordingly.
For many young women and girls in disadvantaged backgrounds or in parts of the developing world, this means products can be difficult to access.
In many countries, such as India, many girls and women resort to using unhygienic substances such as sand, sawdust and leaves as substitutes for sanitary products.
Students Emma D'Arcy (15), from Temple Carrig School in Greystones, Jamie Righini (15) from Nenagh, Tipperary, and Nathan Donovan (15) developed Lunar to support girls in developing countries.
Lunar is a not-for-profit, subscription "pamper box" service, where a reusable menstrual cup is donated to a girl in a developing country for each box of cosmetics and pamper products sold to the consumer.
"We wanted people to think of it as 'guilt-free self-care,'" Emma D'Arcy said.
Other entries included Spark Watch - thermo-electrical wildfire warning pods planted in forested areas that would activate once they detected a change in air pressure and soil moisture.
Hexahomes was an initiative designed to tackle Dublin's housing crisis using modular buildings.
Dylan Smith (16) said he hoped the hexagonal spaces would prevent the "ghettoisation'"of council housing.