Irish teens claim the Grand Prize at the Google Science Fair
Irish teenagers Ciara Judge, Émer Hickey and Sophie Healy-Thow have been announced as the Grand Prize Winners AND the 15-16 age category winners of the fourth annual Google Science Fair.
The three girls, who hail from Kinsale Community school in Cork, beat stiff competition from a further 17 schools from around the world to claim the prestigious prize.
Applications for the competition were received from over 90 different countries with a total of 5,000 entries before the final 18 were picked for the final in California.
The girls became interested in addressing the global food crisis after learning about the Horn of Africa famine in 2011. When a gardening project went awry, they discovered a naturally occurring bacteria in soil called Diazotroph.
The girls determined that the bacteria could be used to speed up the germination process of certain crops, like barley and oats, by 50 percent, potentially helping fulfil the rising demand for food worldwide.
As the Grand Prize winners, Ciara, Émer and Sophie receive a 10-day trip to the Galapagos Islands provided by National Geographic, a $50,000 (€38,782) scholarship from Google, a personalised LEGO prize provided by LEGO Education and the chance to participate in astronaut training at the Virgin Galactic Spaceport in the Mojave desert.
Congrats to the trio from all in JOE Towers...