Pupils inspire at US conference

Pictured presenting their cross-community project on the main stage at the Esri International User Conference in San Diego are (L-R): Leon Van Der Westhuizen, Lurgan Junior High School; Aiesha Mouhsine, St. Ronan's College; and Hannah Trew, Lurgan College.
Pictured presenting their cross-community project on the main stage at the Esri International User Conference in San Diego are (L-R): Leon Van Der Westhuizen, Lurgan Junior High School; Aiesha Mouhsine, St. Ronan's College; and Hannah Trew, Lurgan College.

Three schools from Lurgan recently presented a cross-community project to 19,000 attendees as part of the opening session to Esri’s International User Conference in San Diego.

The pupils became the first students from outside of the USA to present on the main stage in the conference’s 39-year history.

Pictured presenting their cross-community project on the main stage at the Esri International User Conference in San Diego are (L-R): Leon Van Der Westhuizen, student, Lurgan Junior High School; Robert Logan, teacher, Lurgan Junior High School; Aiesha Mouhsine, student, St. Ronan's College; Hannah Murtagh, teacher, St. Ronan's College; Hannah Trew, student, Lurgan College; Alistair Hamill, teacher, Lurgan College; and Constable Michael Walters, PSNI.

Pictured presenting their cross-community project on the main stage at the Esri International User Conference in San Diego are (L-R): Leon Van Der Westhuizen, student, Lurgan Junior High School; Robert Logan, teacher, Lurgan Junior High School; Aiesha Mouhsine, student, St. Ronan's College; Hannah Murtagh, teacher, St. Ronan's College; Hannah Trew, student, Lurgan College; Alistair Hamill, teacher, Lurgan College; and Constable Michael Walters, PSNI.

Students from Lurgan College, St. Ronan’s College and Lurgan Junior High School, showcased their Shared Education Project, which brought together Catholic and Protestant students to map and analyse sectarian divisions in Lurgan, while working together to bring about positive change in their communities.

The Lurgan Shared Education Project was chosen ahead of thousands of other school projects from around the world for its demonstration of how digital mapping technology can be used to promote peace. Students from the three schools came together and visited locations across both sides of the community in Lurgan, recording their perception of safety within that space using Esri’s mobile apps.

Three students, three teachers and a member of the PSNI travelled to San Diego to present alongside world-renowned speakers.

Alistair Hamill, head of geography, Lurgan College, said: “It is an incredible honour to have been chosen by Esri to travel to the US and present in front of such an engaged and global audience.

“The students are an inspiration and this has been a life-changing experience for them.”