Two Wicklow schools take part in the AIB Build A Bank Challenge final

Students from St. David’s Holy Faith Secondary School, Greystones and St. Mary’s College, Arklow have taken part in the final of the 18th ‘AIB Build A Bank Challenge’, one of the longest running schools programmes for Transition and 5th Year students across Ireland.  Over 70 schools from across Ireland took part in the virtual final which was held through video conferencing, with each team presenting their project to a panel of judges.  St. Mary’s College Arklow were awarded the ‘Judges Merit Award’ for their ‘Friends Finances’ entry.

St. Mary’s Secondary School, Mallow, Cork were awarded the title of National Champions 2020 as well as €5,000 for their school.  Buzzy Bank (St. Mary’s Secondary School Mallow) chose Backing Your Community as their specialism. In their presentation to the judging panel, the team from St Mary’s Secondary School highlighted how they raised funds for their chosen charity Bumbleance, the Children’s National Ambulance service, their experience in supporting Nazareth Nursing Home, Mallow, and the organisation of a talk from the Irish Heart Foundation in their school.

The AIB Build a Bank Challenge is a year-long programme for Transition and 5th Year students, giving them the opportunity to set up and run an operational bank within their school while exploring innovation, creativity and business management. The programme also encourages students to give back to their school and community, with participating teams engaging with their local communities and a variety of charities.

Normally, the year-long programme culminates at a National Final in Dublin where students present their projects to the judging panel before the winners are announced at a prize giving ceremony.   Due to current Covid-19 restrictions this was not possible this year, so AIB transformed the physical event into a web-based experience, allowing the students to present their Build A Bank projects through video conferencing.

Mark Doyle, Chief Marketing Officer, AIB said, “Since the AIB Build A Bank Challenge was introduced in 2002, it has continued to steadily grow and evolve as a programme which engages with thousands of students across Ireland.  We are of course disappointed that we couldn’t host the annual final in Dublin this year.  However, we were delighted to progress with digital presentations and judging, and still recognise the incredible amount of work that has gone in to each project. Every year we are amazed by the creativity and hard work demonstrated by all the students, and this year has been no exception”.

The AIB Build A Bank Challenge runs throughout the full curriculum year and enables its participants to develop business management tools, using their creativity and innovation in establishing their bank.  An extremely popular programme with both teachers and students, over 18,000 students have taken part in the AIB Build A Bank Challenge since it started in 2002.

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