Cork teenager wins the Google International Science Fair 3 weeks ago

Cork teenager wins the Google International Science Fair

A fantastic achievement.

An Irish schoolboy has won the 2019 edition of the Google Science Fair, the annual online science competition open to students between the ages of 13 and 18 from around the world.

18-year-old Fionn Ferreira from Ballydehob in west Cork was announced as overall global winner at an event at the Google international headquarters in Mountain View, California.

His project titled “An investigation into the removal of microplastics from water using ferrofluids” posits a novel way to filter microplastics from water by using magnets.

Fionn was one of 24 global finalists chosen from a shortlist of 100 regional entries that competed for the top prize of a $50,000 bursary in what is widely seen as the most prestigious STEM student competitions in the world.

Fionn sat his Leaving Cert last month at Schull Community College and is due to attend university in the Netherlands. He also works as a curator at the Schull Planetarium, has won 12 science fair awards, speaks three languages fluently, plays the trumpet at orchestra level, and has even had a minor planet named after him by the MIT Lincoln Laboratory.

Vint Cerf, Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist at Google said: "When Google Science Fair launched last fall, we challenged students to channel their curiosity and ingenuity invent, code, or build a solution to a problem they’re passionate about.

"Thousands of students participated, and this weekend we welcomed our 24 finalists—from 14 countries around the world—to Google to reveal the winners.

"These change-makers tackled issues across sustainability, healthcare, safety and accessibility.  We saw impressive entries that used a variety of STEM disciplines - from using AI to help detect disease in plants to finding new ways to diagnosing heart disease.

"Each entry was an impressive, original contribution that has real-world implications for some of the world’s toughest problem."

Below are the winners of each category...

  • Grand Prize: Fionn Ferreira - A West Cork, Ireland resident who wants to help save the oceans one filtering method at a time.
  • Virgin Galactic Pioneer Award: Celestine Wenardy - A student from Indonesia who set out to find a non-invasive way to test blood sugar levels
  • Scientific American Innovator Award: Tuan Dolmen - A Turkist science enthusiast who found a way to harness energy from tree vibrations
  • National Geographic Explorer Award: Aman KA and AU Nachiketh - Two young scientists from India who found an eco-friendly way to coagulate rubber
  • Lego Education Builder Award:  Daniel Kazanstev - A Russian student who wanted to find a better way to help those with impaired hearing communicate with the world around them