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Young Social Innovators

16 Apr 2020

Young Social Innovators

Fuel Your Gut Week At Mount Mercy

A group of Transition Year Students at Mount Mercy College chose Gut Health as the topic for their Young Social Innovators (YSI) project this year.

YSI is an initiative that puts young people in the driving seat. It challenges them to not only to become aware of societal issue around them but also to respond and take action. Supported by their teacher, Ms Julie Brick, they devised a campaign called “Fuel Your Gut Week” to raise awareness about the connection between gut and brain and how this can impact mental health.

To prepare for the campaign, the students sought the advice of several experts including APC PI, Prof Colin Hill who visited the school and spoke to all the transition years. Keen to learn more about probiotics and prebiotics, the students then invited John Leech, APC PhD researcher at Teagasc Moorepark, to give a demonstration on food fermentation. The students then encouraged their school mates to try fermented foods by distributing samples of kimchi and sauerkraut.

A visit from APC’s 10-metre-long inflatable digestive system, Alimentary Adventures, capped off the week (special thanks to Eva McArdle, Cara Hueston, Lorraine Draper, Mary Crowley and Ciara O’Donovan!). A key part of YSI projects is reaching out to the wider community, so the students at Mount Mercy invited 60 pupils from neighbouring St Catherine’s primary school to visit Alimentary Adventures.

The students at Mount Mercy demonstrated impressive drive, creativity and professionalism and it was fitting that the final event coincided with International Women’s Day.

To learn more visit Mount Mercy’s Instagram page for their YSI project  https://www.instagram.com/gutfeelingmmc/?hl=en

Photos: Students at Mount Mercy College celebrate their own “Fuel Your Gut Week” (clockwise)  a lesson on fermentation with John Leech, distributing fermented foods to their school mates,  preparing activities to learn about the microbiome and students celebrate International Women’s Day with the “Each for “Equal” pose.


Host Institution

Host Logos - UCC and Teagasc

Partner Institutions

APC Microbiome Ireland

Biosciences Building, University College Cork, Ireland,